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Product pages » Hemispherical Photography

Hemispherical Photography

Last modified by Bec Farrell on 2020/08/21 12:10

Hemispherical photography - digital camera and hemispheric lens, raw imagery and ancillary data, Australian field sites


Figure 1: Hemispherical image taken at Chowilla, South Australia.

Link to Data

DescriptorData linkLayer name
Persistent URL
GeoNetwork recordNot Available Yet
Data Portal (in development)

Data licence and Access rights

RightsRights owned by JRSRP. Rights licensed subject to Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0).
LicenceCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 License,
AccessThese data can be freely downloaded and used subject to the CC BY licence. Attribution and citation is required as described at We ask that you send us citations and copies of publications arising from work that use these data.

Abstract or Summary

Hemispherical photography has been used in studies of LAI (Chen et al., 1997; Robison & McCarthy, 1999; van Gardingen et al., 1999; Welles, 1990; Whitford et al., 1995). Hemispherical photography has also been used to measure canopy architecture of boreal forests (Fournier et al. 1997), and the light environment in old growth temperate rain forests (Weiss 2000). Hemispherical photography can provide a number of structural measurements that can be used for calibration and validation of LiDAR derived products. This field data will be suitable for integration with the LiDAR data for calibration and validation of LiDAR derived fractional cover and leaf area index.

Spatial and Temporal extents

Spatial resolution1 ha
Spatial coverage (degrees)110.000000 to 155.001329 E, -10.000000 to -45.000512 N
Temporal resolution1 day
Temporal coverage2012-01-31, ongoing
Sensor and instrumentDigital camera and hemispheric lens
Spatial representation typevector - point
Spatial reference systemWGS 84

Point of contact

NameRebecca Farrell
OrganisationQLD Department of Environment & Science 
PositionScientist (Remote Sensing)
AddressRemote Sensing Centre, DES, EcoSciences Precinct
Telephone+61 7 3170 5459


The following organisations contributed to the data collection:

  • Joint Remotes Sensing Research Project
  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
  • Curtin University
  • University of Adelaide


FoREnvironmental Sciences > Ecological Applications = 0501

There are three main thesauri that AusCover recommends:

  1. Global Change Master Directory (
  2. Climate and Forecast (CF) convention standard names (
  3. Fields of Research codes (

Data quality

Data quality for this data set is assured by adherence to the data collection protocol for hemispherical photography (see References section for full details).

Validation status

Related products

ItemProduct link
SLATS star transectSLATS Star Transect Data
Leaf area index (LAI)Not Available Yet
Ground LiDARTLS Products


ItemDetail or link
Online infoField data collection protocol: Hemispherical

Sampling strategy

A sample of images (5, 7 or 13 depending on site) are collected in a star or cross formation around a central point. All images are referenced to the central geographic location. The naming convention of the imagery enables positioning of each individual image in relation to that central point (see Instrument Data Naming Convention) for details. Three images are collected at each sampling point, one at three different exposures.  Samples are collected at dawn, dusk or overcast conditions. See the AusCover hemispherical data collection protocol for full details on collection method (see References).

Product version history

Version labelDetail
1.0Initial release

Instrument data filenaming convention

Filenames for instrument data conforms to the AusCover naming convention. This convention is an adaptation of the convention developed by the Queensland governments Remote Sensing Centre. The standard form of this convention is:

<sensor category code><instument code><product code>_<longitude>e<latitude>s_<yyyymmdd>_<processing stage code>_<additional dataset specific tags>

The following table describes the meaning of the unique codes used for this product.

Data Naming ElementCodeDescriptor
Standard Elements

sensor categorydcdigital camera
instrumenthmhemispheric lens

processing stageaa0raw instrument data
data projectiong0geographic coordinates
Data Specific Elements

hh<3 digit code>height from ground imagery taken at in centimetres 
aa<3 digit code>azimuth of transect running from plot centre to camera location in degrees from North
dd<2 digit code>distance from plot centre along transect

Shapefile/KMZ file attribute metadata

Shapefile FieldDescription (units)Format
supersiteAusCover calibration/validation siteText
sensorCode in naming convention – for hemispheric photography always dc, specifying digital cameraText
instrumentCode in naming convention specifying instrument used – for hemispheric imagery always hm, specifying hemispheric lensText
productCode specifying type of imagery obtained:
re – standard reflectance
ir – infrared camera
sceneIdentifier for plot location given in longitude latitude combinationText
dateDate of data collection given in yyyymmdd formatText
azimuthAzimuth of transect from plot centre to photo collection point in degrees from north (degrees)Integer
heightHeight from ground photo taken (cm)Integer
distanceDistance from centre, along transect running from plot centre to photo collection point (m)Float
obs_keyUnique identifier for site visitText
idDatabase id for data management purposesInteger
exposureExposure bracketing. Number represents f-stop under automatic exposure photo taken at, eg. 1 represents an f-stop of -1Integer
photoName of photo according to AusCover naming conventionText
makeMake of cameraText
lensDetails of lensText
dpiMaximum dpi raw images obtained atInteger
modelCamera model detailsText

Metadata history

2013-09-13Metadata creation date
Created by Bec Trevithick on 2013/03/14 10:28

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