Navigation Links
Citizen scientists to document biodiversity with high-resolution imagery during summer solstice

PITTSBURGHA high-resolution image of a palm tree in Brazil, which under close examination shows bees, wasps and flies feasting on nectars and pollens, was the top jury selection among the images captured during last December's Nearby Nature GigaBlitz. It's also an example of what organizers hope participants will produce for the next GigaBlitz, June 20-26.

The Nearby Nature GigaBlitz events are citizen science projects in which people use gigapixel imagery technology to document biodiversity in their backyards if not literally in their backyards, then in a nearby woodlot or vacant field. These images are then shared and made available for analysis via the GigaPan website. The events are organized by a trio of biologists and their partners at Carnegie Mellon University's CREATE Lab.

Information on the GigaBlitz scheduled to coincide with this year's summer solstice is available online at

December's GigaBlitz included contributors from the United States, Canada, Spain, Japan, South Africa, Brazil, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. Ten of the best images are featured in the June issue of GigaPan Magazine, an online publication of CMU's CREATE Lab.

The issue was guest-edited by the organizers of the GigaBlitz: Ken Tamminga, professor of landscape architecture at Penn State University; Dennis vanEngelsdorp, research scientist at the University of Maryland's Department of Entomology; and M. Alex Smith, assistant professor of integrative biology at the University of Guelph, Ontario.

The top-rated image from the winter solstice GigaBlitz, Palmiero em flor, by Eduardo Frick, drew high praise from the guest editors. "We're delighted that this deceptively simple composition was so honored because it reveals biodiversity in action and up close," they explained. "Even deep within our cities, pollinators such as bees, wasps, butterflies, ants, hummingbirds and some bat species do the work of moving pollen, ensuring successful fruit and seed production."

The trio got the idea for GigaBlitz while attending a Carnegie Mellon conference on the scientific use of gigapixel imagery. An example of this technology is the GigaPan system developed by Carnegie Mellon and NASA. It can combine hundreds of digital photos into a large panorama that can be interactively explored via computer. Thousands of GigaPan camera systems are in use worldwide and available commercially through GigaPan Systems Inc.

Tamminga, vanEngelsdorp and Smith envisioned something akin to a BioBlitz, an intensive survey of a park or nature preserve that attempts to identify all living species within an area at a given time, and citizen science efforts such as the Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count.

"We imagined using these widely separated, but nearby, panoramas as a way of collecting biodiversity data similar to the Christmas bird count where citizen scientists surveyed their world, then distributed and shared that data with the world through public GigaPans," they wrote. "The plus of the GigaPan approach was that the sharing was bi-directional not merely 'This is what I saw,' but also hearing someone say, 'This is what I found in your GigaPan.'"

Smith, Tamminga and vanEngelsdorp are fellows of the Fine Outreach for Science, a project funded by the Fine Foundation of Pittsburgh to foster scientific use of gigapixel imagery.

Contact: Byron Spice
Carnegie Mellon University

Related biology news :

1. Can natures beauty lift citizens from poverty?
2. Stanford scientists develop gene therapy approach to grow blood vessels in ischemic limbs
3. Queens scientists seek vaccine for Pseudomonas infection
4. Scientists produce eye structures from human blood-derived stem cells
5. American Society of Plant Biologists honors early career women scientists
6. Brandeis scientists win prestigious prize for circadian rhythms research
7. Scientists discover new method of proton transfer
8. Salk scientists open new window into how cancers override cellular growth controls
9. - Now Featuring Bespoke Pages for China’s Life Scientists
10. Scientists win $2 million to study new pathway in development and maintenance of lymphoma
11. UGA scientists reveal genetic mutation depicted in van Goghs sunflower paintings
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/1/2016)... YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost ... to a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global ... By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", ... 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing security ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... MINNEAPOLIS , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt ... technology partnership with VoicePass. By working ... user experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly ... two engines increases both security and usability. ... expressed excitement about this new partnership. ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... DALLAS , May 12, 2016 ... has just published the overview results from the Q1 ... of the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a ... wearables data with a health insurance company. ... choose to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers ... the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of ... beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in clinical research patient ... and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio revisits the hurdle ... and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how patients receive and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
Breaking Biology Technology: