Discussion: 360° Camera for Arboreal Camera Trapping

We recently spoke with @andy_manu_peru about arboreal camera trapping. For anyone, for anyone who hasn't read it yet, I definitely recommend you go do so as it's a real treat. 

When asked if there were any shortcomings in the technology that he'd like to see addressed, Andy responded with: 

Right now there is a real placement bias, as mentioned above, to accessible and safe to reach places. Arboreal animals might not necessarily use such areas and I think improved access techniques or even the development of camera setups that can be coordinated from the ground, without the climb the tree beforehand, could be developed. It is also difficult to assess group size from a single direction camera. Multiple cameras or wider camera with wider fields of view (maybe 360°) could go some way to tackling this. As we are at the very early stages of using camera in the trees, we are not yet certain about the appropriate analytical techniques (e.g. for estimation of population densities). I know some researchers are addressing some of these questions right now, as it isn’t safe to assume that the analytical methods developed for terrestrial cameras will directly translate into analysis of data from the canopy.

The part about 360° cameras caught my attention, as it reminded me of a side project another community member had mentioned in passing just a few days earlier. @acockle and @Alasdair - I wonder if the seven seconds ago project might have some application here? Perhaps you could share a bit about what you guys have dreaming up? 

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