Timelapse2: An Image Analyser for Camera Traps

Field cameras (also called camera traps) capture images (and sometimes videos) of strategic field locations at regular intervals or when any motion is detected. After retrieving the camera's images, scientists visually examine each image and video and count/describe the entities and conditions of interest (e.g., people, wildlife, weather).

The problem is that visually analyzing and encoding data from thousands of images and videos is a painful process.

Timelapse Image Analyser helps scientists do this last visual analysis and encoding step. In brief, the tool:

  • reads and displays images and videos from any type of remote camera (as long as they are numbered);
  • automatically extracts information from all images such as dates, times and location
  • extracts metadata information of your choosing, if its available in the images
  • categorizes unusual images including dark (night time) and corrupted ones;
  • displays a custom interface for entering data specific to the scientist's project, where the biologist can enter data by typing, by selecting from a list of choices, and (for counting) by clicking on objects in the image;
  • supports visual search through a magnifying glass, through pan and zooming (where switching images will keep the same pan/zoom levels), and through several image enhancement methods;
  • saves all data to a file that can be opened in Excel and later imported into a database of your choice.
  • allows you to examine subset of your images where you apply searches specific to your data.
  • and much more...

I would be happy to send you an article describing the use of Timelapse by fisheries biologists (email saul.greenberg@ucalgary.ca), published as:

Greenberg, S. and Godin, T. (2015) A Tool Supporting the Extraction of Angling Effort Data from Remote Camera Image (Feature Article). Fisheries Magazine, 40(6):276-287. American Fisheries Society, June.


The old Timelapse1 version is still available but no longer supported. I strongly recommend you use Timelapse 2.

Timelapse Image Analyzer was created by Saul Greenberg, a University of Calgary, Computer Science professor, and is supported by Greenberg Consulting Inc. Thanks to Todd West, who upgraded the software to professional standards and who added additional features.
Contact Saul Greenberg for feature requests, bug reports, and general feedback.