Brandon Smith (Redwoodtwig)
The photographic permaculture inventory is a collection of 360 degree panoramas annotated with the features and plants visible in them. The numbers and labels are used in associated spreadsheets with detailed information about each feature and itemized plant.
I found that I needed 63 observation points to cover these 9.85 acres in the winter, and even then I think I may have missed some parts. I won't know until I finish the field checks -- going back to the observation point with a laptop and learning and recording the identities and health of what's in the photos in spreadsheets for later analysis.
The technique I used for each panorama was to make eight images each covering a bit more than a 45 degree field of view so that I can consistently count on compass orientation be reasonably correct. I had initially used the GPS capabilities in the camera, but discovered this is not very accurate -- I would get different coordinates and altitude by simply rotating the camera on the tripod! Using Google image maps and placing the observation points by hand is more accurate at this point, even with the low resolution images I can get for from Google in exchange for my browsing data. More about photographic techniques at Observe: take pictures, take notes.
The panoramas in these folders are quite large, close to the limit of 100 megapixels allowed on this site. It will take quite a bit of time to load these files which can be close to 100 MB in size. The originals on my local computer are quite a bit bigger and a few of them I will upload to gigapan to see how that works.
The first section below is a gallery with all the current panoramas in it. The second section, the archives, contain folders for each observation point that include addition information about that season's inventory.
The inventory panoramas are the raw visual field data. Details about how the inventory is conducted are in this google spreadsheet. This is where the observation point index is established and maintained.
The raw visual data is annotated with the area, feature and plant names that are defined is this google spreadsheet. This is where the details about specific plant communities are recorded and the index names and numbers established and maintained.
I suppose the ideal photographic permaculture inventory would be able to align observation points so that each one covered a specific feature or area rather than what I ended up with. Some areas are indeed covered from a single observation point, but the forest and areas with steeper slopes need more than one. Most areas, features, and plants can be seen from more than one observation point, and, although usually one view is the best, quite often it is helpful to see the other side when evaluating a feature.