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News Release

December 2, 2010
Leslie Gordon 650-793-1534

Book Released Detailing History and Relevance of Repeat Photography

Chronicling impact of climate change one of many uses

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A new book on the methods and applications of repeat photography that showcases its international usage in monitoring landscape change on five continents has been released. 

“Repeat Photography: Methods and Applications in the Natural Sciences,” is both a review of the state-of-the-art for this well-established technique, as well as a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Desert Laboratory Repeat Photography Collection – the largest archive of its kind in the world.

The scientific technique of taking photographs from the same vantage point at different times is one of the earliest methods for documenting landscape change, getting its start with the monitoring of glacier retreat in Europe in the late 19th century.

This book explores the broad technical and geographic scope of the technique, focusing particularly on the intertwined influences of climatic variation and land-use practices in sculpting landscapes. It illustrates the wide scope of application, examines some new techniques for acquiring data from repeat photography, and demonstrates that this remains a valuable and cost-effective means for monitoring future changes, particularly in developing countries.

A product of the USGS’ project on landscape change in the southwestern United States, based in Tucson, the book was edited Robert H. Webb, hydrologist; Diane E. Boyer, photo archivist; and Raymond M. Turner, botanist. Published by Island Press, it includes contributions by several other USGS scientists as well as other practitioners of repeat photography from around the world.

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