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Monitor Change

Monitoring ecological change with smart phones and social media

We're creating a citizen network to monitor change at our stream restoration projects! It's simple: Put up a sign asking people to set their phone or camera in an angle bracket, take a photo, and post it to Twitter with a site-specific hashtag. Then we harvest the photos to create timelapse views that show change over time. 

photo monitoring station

Active photo station projects

In fall 2017, we installed seven photo monitoring stations at three restoration projects on the Jordan River. 

Project 1: Jordan River Murray/Taylorsville Ecosystem Restoration

  • Photo stations were installed at five key locations along the river, from Arrowhead Park at 4800 South  to approximately 5100 South in Murray.
  • Hashtags:  #jordanarrowhead1, #jordanarrowhead2, #jordantoewood1, #jordantoewood2, #jordanclifftop

Project 2: Jordan River Channel Repair at Winchester Park

  • Winchester Street (6500 S) in Murray.
  • Hashtag: #jordanwinchester

Project 3: Jordan River Realignment at Rotary Park 12600 S

  • Across the trail from Jordan River Rotary Park at 12600 S in Draper.
  • Hashtag: #jordanrotarypark

How it works

By crowdsourcing the photos, we're getting trail users involved in the monitoring process. A bracket installed on top of the sign post ensures a consistent height, angle, and direction for each photo. The end result: A photographic record of how  riparian vegetation is filling in, or how reconstructed streambanks are holding up, or how new floodplains are handling high river flows.

Make your own!

Check out our inspiration: and the Nerds for Nature instructable, which includes details on making the signs and getting timelapse slideshows up and running.