Live from the field: Capturing images and data from a barrier island via wireless networking

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John Porter
David E. Smith
Thomas Williams

Wireless networks provide new opportunities for retrieving data from the field - and to support new types of data. At the Virginia Coast Reserve Long-Term Ecological Research Project we have employed wireless networks to connect to three barrier islands, with some connections spanning over 20 km. The wireless network is used to integrate a variety of data sources. A network of ten wells, meteorological and tide stations produce data that is automatically processed to create a dataset or graph on the World-Wide Web. We also use webcams to produce a variety of time-series image series, capturing changes in landscapes, as well as monitoring animals (e.g., birds) and extreme events (e.g., flooding).  Images are archived and indexed with a relational database to create a variety of animations and index pages.