Digital Earth Watch and Picture Post Network


The Digital Earth Watch (DEW) environmental monitoring project is a citizen science initiative funded by NASA to create opportunities for informal and formal science educators and the community-at-large to collaborate by sharing digital photographs from Picture Post sites. A key message in DEW is that although plants are dynamic and respond continuously to their environment, they do so either on a time-scale that most people don’t notice or with a subtlety our senses can’t detect. DEW has a revamped website and a new eBook, "All About DEW" that is full of activities and challenges for students. Picture Post activities involve students and citizens in local environmental monitoring by 1) taking digital photographs at a designated Picture Post site in a consistent, sequential order, 2) uploading the digital photographs to the Picture Post website, 3) examining the digital photographs using the image analysis tools on the Picture Post website, 4) continuing to take photos on a regular basis, and 5) sharing digital photographic records with community organizations dedicated to environmental monitoring and use. A Picture Post is simply an octagon placed in the center of a flat surface and secured to a post anchored in the ground or onto a building. The edges of the octagon allow positioning of the camera so the complete landscape may be photographed in less than a minute. DEW and Picture Post comprise a rich set of materials and a growing network of engaged participants that meet the needs of educators and citizens alike in learning about environmental change.

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