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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1271

An Automated Digital Imaging System for Environmental Monitoring Applications

By Rian Bogle, Miguel Velasco, and John Vogel

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.3 MB)Introduction

Recent improvements in the affordability and availability of high-resolution digital cameras, data loggers, embedded computers, and radio/cellular modems have advanced the development of sophisticated automated systems for remote imaging. Researchers have successfully placed and operated automated digital cameras in remote locations and in extremes of temperature and humidity, ranging from the islands of the South Pacific to the Mojave Desert and the Grand Canyon. With the integration of environmental sensors, these automated systems are able to respond to local conditions and modify their imaging regimes as needed.

In this report we describe in detail the design of one type of automated imaging system developed by our group. It is easily replicated, low-cost, highly robust, and is a stand-alone automated camera designed to be placed in remote locations, without wireless connectivity.

First posted December 28, 2012

  • This report is available only on the Web.

For additional information:
Contact Information, Western Geographic Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
345 Middlefield Road, MS 531
Menlo Park, CA 94025

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Suggested citation:

Bogle, R., Velasco, M., and Vogel, J., 2013, An automated digital imaging system for environmental monitoring applications, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1271, 18 p. (Available at



System Requirements

System Specifications

System Assembly

System Operation

Example Deployments and Uses


References Cited

Appendixes A and B

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