Advertisement

Moving Beyond the Frame: Geovisualization of Landscape Change Along the Southwestern Edge of Yosemite National Park

  • Jeffrey JenkinsEmail author
  • Adam Fleenor
  • Fisher Dietz
Article

Abstract

As part of the 1930s New Deal programs, the Civilian Conservation Corps funded a team of photographers to capture forest landscapes, including those in the Stanislaus National Forest and southwestern portion of Yosemite National Park. While initially, the program focused on assessing travel time, terrain challenges, and viewable area, the program went on to acquire expressly made Osborne Panoramic Cameras, which were used to take panoramic photos from fire towers and other potential lookout peaks. We utilized panoramic photos by Lester Moe, which are typical unidirectional panoramic images (360° x-axis) as the basis for this repeat photography project. Many of the human and natural features have changed in the intervening years, which present an added challenge for obtaining aligned photo sets. We utilized a combination of geovisualization technologies to capture, compare, and communicate imagery, including the Wide-Area Visualization Environment (WAVE) and omnidirectional “spherical projection” CaveCam (360° x- and y-axis). This workflow applies a novel technological approach to a common landscape photography method to overcome some of the challenges associated with repeatability and offer valuable additional high-resolution data.

Keywords

Landscape change Repeat photography Sierra Nevada Wildland fire Spherical panoramas Stereo imagery 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thank you to Emily Lin of the University Library for leading the digital curation process for the historic panoramic photographs. Thanks also to Donald Barclay of the University Library for his support with image acquisition. We would also like to acknowledge Paul Rogers from the Yosemite archives and the regional National Park Service staff for allowing us to access, digitize, and utilize this imagery. Furthermore, we thank Jeffrey Weekley for his support, ideas, and key technical insight at the Wide-Area Visualization Environment. Also, we are grateful for the efforts of Colby Anton who assisted with access to backcountry sites. And, special recognition goes to the legacy of Lester Moe, for without his original efforts, this repeat project would not have been possible.

Funding Information

The authors would like to acknowledge the University of California, Merced School of Engineering as a funding source and also recognize the University Library for its in-kind support with time needed for acquisition of materials.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author has no conflict of interest to report, neither from industry, the Park Service, or the UC.

Ethical Statements

The research conducted for this paper has been in full compliance with ethical standards of the University of California and permitted with the National Park Service. The research has been conducted in accordance with ethical standards of research set forth by the University of California, Merced.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

There were no human subjects or survey participants involved in this research and therefore no need or use of informed consent. Archival materials were utilized to acquire historic photos through permit agreement.

References

  1. Ainsworth RA, Sandin DJ, Schulze JP, Prudhomme A, DeFanti TA, & Srinivasan M (2011). Acquisition of stereo panoramas for display in VR environments. In Three-Dimensional Imaging, Interaction, and Measurement. International Society for Optics and Photonics (Vol. 7864, p. 786416)Google Scholar
  2. Brechin G, 2006. Imperial San Francisco: urban power, earthly ruin. Univ of California PressGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown C, 1970. History of the Rogue River National Forest Volume 2, 1933–1969. Forest History SocietyGoogle Scholar
  4. Bullock SH, Heath D (2006) Growth rates and age of native palms in the Baja California desert. J Arid Environ 67(3):391–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Butler DR, DeChano LM (2001) Environmental change in Glacier National Park, Montana: an assessment through repeat photography from fire lookouts. Phys Geogr 22(4):291–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crockett JL, Westerling AL (2018) Greater temperature and precipitation extremes intensify Western US droughts, wildfire severity, and Sierra Nevada tree mortality. J Clim 31(1):341–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. DeFanti TA, Acevedo D, Ainsworth RA, Brown MD, Cutchin S, Dawe G et al (2011) The future of the CAVE. Central Eur J Eng 1(1):16–37Google Scholar
  8. Dilsaver LM, 2016. America’s national park system: the critical documents. Rowman & LittlefieldGoogle Scholar
  9. Duane TP, 1999. Shaping the Sierra: nature, culture, and conflict in the changing West. Univ of California PressGoogle Scholar
  10. Fagre DB, McKeon LA (2010) Documenting disappearing glaciers: repeat photography at Glacier National Park, Montana. In: Webb RH, Boyer DE, Turner RM (eds) Repeat Photography: Methods and Applications in the Natural Sciences. Island Press, Washington DC, pp 77–88Google Scholar
  11. Febretti A, Nishimoto A, Thigpen T, Talandis J, Long L, Pirtle JD, ... & Sandin D (2013). CAVE2: a hybrid reality environment for immersive simulation and information analysis. In The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2013 (Vol. 8649, p. 864903). International Society for Optics and PhotonicsGoogle Scholar
  12. Fortin J, 2018. Landscape and biodiversity change in the Willmore Wilderness Park through repeat photography. Ph.D. dissertationGoogle Scholar
  13. Gilge C (2016) Google street view and the image as experience. GeoHumanities 2(2):469–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Golden Kroner R, Krithivasan R, Mascia M. 2016. Effects of protected area downsizing on habitat fragmentation in Yosemite National Park (USA), 1864–2014. Ecol Soc, 21(3)Google Scholar
  15. Gonzalez P, Wang F, Notaro M, Vimont DJ, Williams JW (2018) Disproportionate magnitude of climate change in United States national parks. Environ Res Lett 13(10):104001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Greene LW, 1987. Historic resource study: Yosemite, the park and its resources: a history of the discovery, management, and physical development of Yosemite National Park, California. US Department of the Interior, National Park ServiceGoogle Scholar
  17. Gruell GE, 2001. Fire in Sierra Nevada forests: a photographic interpretation of ecological change since 1849. Mountain PressGoogle Scholar
  18. Hansen AJ, Piekielek N, Davis C, Haas J, Theobald DM, Gross JE et al (2014) Exposure of US National Parks to land use and climate change 1900–2100. Ecol Appl 24(3):484–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Klett M, 2011. Repeat photography in landscape research. The Sage handbook of visual research methods, p. 114–130Google Scholar
  20. Klett M, Solnit R, Wolfe B (2005) Yosemite in time: ice ages, tree clocks, ghost Rivers. Trinity University Press, San AntonioGoogle Scholar
  21. Lutz JA, Van Wagtendonk JW, Franklin JF (2010) Climatic water deficit, tree species ranges, and climate change in Yosemite National Park. J Biogeogr 37(5):936–950CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. MacEachren AM, and Kraak M-J. (2001) Research challenges in geovisualization. Cartography and geographic information science28, no. 1. 3–12Google Scholar
  23. Mennis J, Guo D (2009) Spatial data mining and geographic knowledge discovery—an introduction. Comput Environ Urban Syst 33(6):403–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Meyer JL, Youngs Y (2018) Historical Landscape Change in Yellowstone National Park: demonstrating the value of intensive field observation and repeat photography. Geogr Rev 108(3):387–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Radeloff VC, Helmers DP, Kramer HA, Mockrin MH, Alexandre PM, Bar-Massada A, ... & Stewart SI (2018) Rapid growth of the US wildland-urban interface raises wildfire risk. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(13), 3314–3319.Google Scholar
  26. Robbins, P. (2002). Obstacles to a First World political ecology? Looking near without looking up. Environment and planning A, 34(8), 1509–1513.Google Scholar
  27. Scalable Amplified Group Environment (SAGE2). (2019) http://sage2.sagecommons.org/map/ (Accessed May13th, 2019)
  28. Schulze JP, Block J, Weber P, Levy TE, Dawe GL, Sparks BC, DeFanti TA (2015) The WAVE and 3D: how the waters might have parted—visualizing evidence for a major volcanic eruption in the Mediterranean and its impact on exodus models. In: Israel’s exodus in transdisciplinary perspective. Springer, Cham, pp 161–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Smith NG, Cutchin S, Kooima R, Ainsworth RA, Sandin DJ, Schulze J, ... & DeFanti TA (2013). Cultural heritage omni-stereo panoramas for immersive cultural analytics—From the Nile to the Hijaz. In 2013 8th International Symposium on Image and Signal Processing and Analysis (ISPA) (pp. 552–557). IEEEGoogle Scholar
  30. Turner RM, Webb RH, Esque TC, Rogers GF (2010) Repeat photography and low-elevation fire responses in the southwestern United States. In: Webb RH, Boyer DE, Turner RM (eds) Repeat photography: methods and applications in the natural sciences. Island Press, Washington, DC, pp 223–244Google Scholar
  31. Vale TR (1987) Vegetation change and park purposes in the high elevations of Yosemite National Park, California. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 77(1):1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Vellend M, Brown CD, Kharouba HM, McCune JL, Myers-Smith IH (2013) Historical ecology: using unconventional data sources to test for effects of global environmental change. Am J Bot 100(7):1294–1305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Walker RA, & Brechin G, 2010. The living new Deal: the unsung benefits of the new Deal for the United States and California. UC Berkley Working Paper SeriesGoogle Scholar
  34. Webb RH (2010) Repeat photography: methods and applications in the natural sciences. Island PressGoogle Scholar
  35. Wolfe B, and Brady S. 2017. Phantom skies & shifting ground: landscape, culture, and rephotography in Eadweard Muybridge’s illustrations of Central America. Radius Books and Temple University PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Management of Complex SystemsUniversity of CaliforniaMercedUSA
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate GroupUniversity of CaliforniaMercedUSA
  3. 3.Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaMercedUSA

Personalised recommendations