Major Changes to Volcano Camera Site and Image Naming

Published: Fri Dec 11 2020 4:00 PM

After almost 20 years of using cameras for volcano monitoring, GeoNet is introducing major changes to the way camera sites and image files are named to make access to the images easier for all of our stakeholders.

Site names for volcano cameras will follow the pattern used for GeoNet’s other monitoring sites, such as those that collect earthquake and ground deformation data. A four-letter site code will reflect the location where a camera is situated, rather than what it photographs (as is currently used for some cameras). A new two-digit numeric view code will be introduced to track what a camera looks at, and any substantial and intentional changes to that view over time. The use of a view code is similar to that used at GeoNet’s earthquake monitoring sites where there can be more than one sensor at a particular location.

While these changes are substantial, users who view volcano camera images through the GeoNet website will see no difference, as all of the changes will be ‘under the hood’. These changes will only impact users who want to access images more than a day old.

At the same time as these site code changes are being implemented, we will start to use our cloud-based image archive to provide historic images for our users. This will introduce some further small changes to image naming but will provide more robust and secure access to the valuable image collection. “While we don’t like to change data access for our users more than is absolutely necessary, starting to serve data requests from our cloud-based archive will be more reliable and sustainable, and brings volcano images in to line with our other data access mechanisms.”, noted Dr Jonathan Hanson, leader of GeoNet’s Science Operations and Data Team, which is responsible for managing all of these changes.

As volcano cameras need to be available for monitoring around the clock, especially by our National Geohazards Monitoring Centre (NGMC), the changes to camera site codes and image files will be made carefully to ensure reliable access at all times. The plan is to switch new images over to the new site codes and image file names, and then to apply the same changes to historic images as soon as is feasible.

We realise that some users accessing images with automatic data retrieval tools will need to make changes to continue to retrieve images. We will provide technical documentation and support to reduce the impact of these changes on those users, including details of site code changes and details of view codes.

Please contact us if you need any support.