Ed: Project Pressure has created a platform for crowdsourcing glacier imagery, often photographs taken by climbers and trekkers. Why are scientists interested in these images? And what’s the scientific value of the data set that’s being gathered by the platform?
Klaus: Comparative photography using historical photography allows year-on-year comparisons to document glacier change. The platform aims to create long-lasting scientific value with minimal technical entry barriers — it is valuable to have a global resource that combines photographs generated by Project Pressure in less documented areas, with crowdsourced images taken by for example by climbers and trekkers, combined with archival pictures. The platform is future focused and will hopefully allow an up-to-date view on glaciers across the planet.
The other ways for scientists to monitor glaciers takes a lot of time and effort; direct measurements of snow fall is a complicated, resource intensive and time-consuming process. And while glacier outlines can be traced from satellite imagery, this still needs to be done manually. Also, you can’t measure the thickness, images can be obscured by debris and cloud cover, and some areas just don’t have very many satellite fly-bys.
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