Camera Base

Created by Mathias Tobler - San Diego Zoo Global Institute for Conservation Research

Camera trap surveys produce hundreds if not thousands of photos during each survey. Managing all those photos and the corresponding information can be a difficult task. Camera Base is a tool that helps biologists manage the complete data from multiple camera trap surveys and provides tools for different types of data analysis including capture-recapture, occupancy, activity patterns and diversity.


Data Management
  • Manage multiple surveys in one database
  • Link photos to the data for browsing within the database
  • Batch-import photos from digital cameras and automatically read date/time information from the EXIF data
  • Identify individuals for capture-recapture analysis interactively
  • Manage the exact days cameras were running
Analysis and outputs
  • Show a summary of number of photos and capture frequencies (N captures / 1000 camera days) for each species
  • Show a photo report for each species
  • Run capture-recapture analysis in CAPTURE directly out of Camera Base
  • Calculate Mean Maximum Distance Moved (MMDM)
  • Show activity pattern graphs
  • Automatically assign to each photo if it was taken during the day, night or dusk or dawn based on sunrise and sunset calculated for the survey location for each specific date.
  • Mark each photo as independent or dependent event based on a user defined minimum time interval.
  • Export data to MARK, PRESENCE, DENSITY, EstimateS and other statistical or GIS software

Camera Base is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3


Camera Base was written in Microsoft Access 2010 and was tested with MS Office XP 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2010. There are some known issues with Office 2013 due to Microsoft dropping support for certain features (e.g. Pivot tables). It will probably not work properly in Office 2000 or earlier versions. If you do not own Access you can download the Microsoft Access 2010 Runtime from the link bellow.


Camera Base 1.7 - For Access 32bit and 64bit. Complete installation including documentation.
Camera Base User Guide - Full documentation of the Camera Base application.
Access 2010 Runtime - Files needed to run Camera Base without Acccess.

Old Version: Camera Base 1.6.1 - For Access 32bit and 64bit. Complete installation including documentation.


If you have questions or comments about Camera Base or would like to contribute to its continuing development, please contact Mathias Tober -


Initial funding for this work came from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through a grant to the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. Camera trap work that led to the creation of this database was carried out in collaboration with the WWF AREAS project. Future work was carried out with the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage in French Guiana and recently with additional funding form the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Blue Moon foundation. . I would like to thank Samia Carrillo-Percastegui for continuous input and testing during the development of this database.

The code used to calculate sunset and sunrise was translated from a NOAA Javascript to VBA by Greg Pelletier.

Parsing EXIF data is done with the EXIF Reader Class:

Image processing is done with the help of the software Irfan View 3.98, written by Irfan Skiljan.

Camera Base screenshot