Chicago Wildlife Watch Talk

Not many cameras

  • dbuske by dbuske

    You really don't have alot of cameras.


  • ForestPreserve by ForestPreserve moderator

    A CWW blog post from May, has about 100 camera locations marked on the maps. The post says each camera spends one week a quarter at each location. So there may be only 7 or 8 cameras (1 / 13 * 100 = 7.69) out in the field at one time, but in theory, you'll see all 100 locations if you stick around long enough. (There's a also a reference to "hundreds of camera traps", so not sure on the exact count.)

    A couple of things make it seem like there are fewer camera locations than there are.

    First, only a small percentage of the over nearly 900,000 images are in play at any time. You may notice that if someone comments on an image, you'll see it (or have seen it) around the same time. The active images seem to be mainly grouped by location, so you see only a few locations on any given day.

    That part is just how the system is designed. The second part is the cameras. Some cameras seem to work well, capturing an animal on many shots. Some cameras, like the one in ACH000c0yq, seem to get stuck snapping away at nothing all night. And there was "Arthur", 5,858 shots of a plant no rabbit bothered to eat. (We did see the mandatory coyote with Arthur once, and Arthur did something weird once in a while.)

    The bad cameras tend to wash out the results from the good cameras. My current favorite bad camera is one in a small park next to a "flexi-van storage yard", with piles of truck tires and a few intermodal freight trailers. We don't see many critters there, but it looks interesting lit up at night.

    Maybe in the future, some of the "nothing here" images can be filtered out automatically by comparing adjacent shots, but in the mean time, keep clicking, and eventually you'll see something interesting.