The PhenoCam Website: Adventures in "Crowd-Sourcing" Data Collection, Distribution and Analysis


The PhenoCam website ( is tasked with acquiring, processing, and archiving web imagery from inexpensive webcams to be used for scientific studies of phenological processes. The project involves two overlapping networks of cameras: AMOS (Archive of Many Outdoor Scenes), archives years of images from over 17,000 cameras, and PhenoCam which currently has on the order of 100 cameras. The AMOS network requires automated image analysis, statistical methods and visualization tools, because monitoring so many individual cameras is impossible. At the network scale of PhenoCam, individual cameras can in principle be closely monitored to maintain image quality, continuity and usefulness for scientific studies. Here we describe the evolving requirements for the PhenoCam project, and our early experience building a website designed to monitor the status of the PhenoCam network of cameras, acquire and process daily imagery, and provide access to the PhenoCam image archive and derived data. We also compare web camera data phenological thresholds, identified visually, to MODIS phenological threshold dates as well dates derived from applying the MODIS algorithm to the web camera data.


Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center

Publication Date


Journal Title

Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union (AGU)


American Geophysical Union Publications

Document Type

Conference Proceeding