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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 suc

Contact: Byron Spice
Carnegie Mellon University

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