GoPros™ as an underwater photogrammetry tool for citizen science

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 9:56pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2016
Date published: 04/2016
Authors: Vincent Raoult, Peter David, Sally Dupont, Ciaran Mathewson, Samuel O’Neill, Nicholas Powell, Jane Williamson
Journal title: PeerJ
Volume: 4
Pages: e1960

Citizen science can increase the scope of research in the marine environment; however, it suffers from necessitating specialized training and simplified methodologies that reduce research output. This paper presents a simplified, novel survey methodology for citizen scientists, which combines GoPro imagery and structure from motion to construct an ortho-corrected 3D model of habitats for analysis. Results using a coral reef habitat were compared to surveys conducted with traditional snorkelling methods for benthic cover, holothurian counts, and coral health. Results were comparable between the two methods, and structure from motion allows the results to be analysed off-site for any chosen visual analysis. The GoPro method outlined in this study is thus an effective tool for citizen science in the marine environment, especially for comparing changes in coral cover or volume over time.

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