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Timelapse Kit

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The Public Lab Timelapse Kit: fight polluters by catching them on film!

Above image via @glennwalquist -- read more

A number of folks are working across the Public Lab network to set up cheap #timelapse cameras. Help out and hold polluters accountable!

How it works

It doesn't completely -- yet! We're testing this approach in a few places around the country, and looking to prove it out more.

But the basic idea is to point a timelapse camera at a place where you hope to catch pollution happening, to collect evidence and to pressure them to stop.


(above, timelapse of blasting at a mountaintop removal site via @LauraChipley)

This could be used at:

  • refineries
  • mine sites
  • industrial facilities
  • anywhere you can safely place the camera

How to help

We're collecting well-documented examples of this technique in action, and we need:

  • great photos of camera setups
  • example footage
  • easy instructions on how to share your images


Title Author Updated Likes Comments
Is a Water Proof Solar Raspberry Pi Camera project viable? @icarito over 5 years ago 9
Advice regarding taking photos over frozen @dailyxeoto about 6 years ago 1
How To Make Time Lapse Spectrometer @LightWaveResearch8000 about 7 years ago 2
How do I cheaply do long-term outdoor timelapses? @warren about 7 years ago 1
How can real-time camera monitoring be set up? @cherylh about 7 years ago 4
How do different time intervals for timelapse cameras affect their required maintenance? @cherylh about 7 years ago 4
Considerations when using timelapse to monitor blasting at mine sites? @mlamadrid over 7 years ago 0
Advice regarding taking photos over frozen surface? @stevie over 7 years ago 5
How do you get the Crenova Game and Trail Hunting Camera into time-lapse mode? @stevie over 7 years ago 5
How do I make a video from a series of photos? @warren over 7 years ago 7
What are ways to strengthen photographic evidence in court? @warren over 7 years ago 0
Trail camera on State Park Land? @DMerwitz almost 8 years ago 3
Can we use a timelapse or video camera to monitor particulate air plumes? @gretchengehrke almost 8 years ago 4
Is there a water quality equivalent of Smoke School, the EPA air pollution observer certification? @warren almost 8 years ago 1
What's the best way to archive/store a timelapse video? @warren almost 8 years ago 3
Has anyone used a timelapse camera in stream monitoring? @stevie almost 8 years ago 15
Has anyone tried a dashboard camera for timelapse or aerial mapping? @warren almost 8 years ago 3
Initial results and resolution of timelapse mode issue: PL Mobius Infragram Point and Shoot @patcoyle over 9 years ago 3

Try it out

We're organizing meet-ups to assemble kits, test them out, document and install them, so that lots of people have a chance to learn how to do this and spread the word.

The basic kit is based on:

$103 (with 16g SD card) Crenova Trail Camera - 12 megapixel, 8 AA batteries

(note that it's actually 5 megapixels, but it stretches images up to 12, unfortunately)

Get in touch ( to organize a local group to assemble, document, and test, and report back how it goes.


Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
Raspberry + NoIR cam + Sensors to detect water stress of the plants during their growing - - @LaPa - - 0 replications: Try it »
How to visually document a site - - @stevie - - 1 replications: Try it »
Use a rubber band and knotted string to trigger a camera build complete @mathew 15m easy 0 replications: Try it »
Scripting Raspberry Pi to boot and shoot timelapse photos build review-me @mathew - hard 0 replications: Try it »
Hacking trail cameras to document blasts on Mountaintop Removal sites - - @LauraChipley - - 0 replications: Try it »
Bean Cam observe - @cfastie 1d medium 0 replications: Try it »
Set up a Raspberry Pi Camera with Pi Builder - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Using Mobius camera as a "trap cam" in field deployments - - @tonyc - - 0 replications: Try it »
Testing - water depth from camera image - - @chalmers - - 0 replications: Try it »
Set up a Mobius Action Cam for timelapse - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
IR+VS TIMELAPSE - - @hunter - - 0 replications: Try it »
CrocusCam observe - @cfastie 10h hard 0 replications: Try it »
DaffyCam - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Time lapse mode on the Crenova Game camera - - @stevie - - 0 replications: Try it »

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.

Flyer handouts: timelapse-kit-card.pdf and 4-up version for printing: timelapse-kit-card-4up.pdf


(Above, prototype box mock-up)