National Drought Mitigation Center


Landscape photographers invited to submit photos for Visual Drought Atlas

January 31, 2020

The CoCoRaHS observer who submitted this photo said: Perch Lake, in Woodside Township, Polk County, Minnesota, looking toward the south. It has been a cool summer with normal to slightly above normal precipitation here.

What colors are your winter landscape – shades of brown, green or gray? If you are out and about over the Feb. 15-17 President’s Day Weekend, please consider taking photos to be part of the Visual Drought Atlas of the United States. Over time, this will be a way to show people what different landscapes look like at different times of year in dry, wet and normal conditions. This can serve many purposes, including helping assess drought conditions.

The Visual Drought Atlas at the National Drought Mitigation Center builds on photos collected via the Field Photos project, conducted by CoCoRaHS and the South Central Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP). Although you can submit photos any time, we’d also like to keep collecting photos on key holiday weekends for consistency – President’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.

Please visit to upload up to five photos. Here are some tips for submitting them. 

Tell us where you are: Position the marker on the map for your location using one of three methods: 1) Click on the round compass icon and allow access to your location. 2) Enter an address or the name of a place in the search window. 3) Drag the map until the marker points to the correct location. Be sure to use the plus or minus if you want to zoom in or out after you have placed the marker, because scrolling will move the marker. 

Help us QC: The “Select your state and local jurisdiction” box below doesn’t position the marker but it will tell us if something has gone wrong in the previous step.

When the photos were taken: Photos should be from a single day, but you can fill out the form more than once if you’d like to submit photos from different days. 

How dry or wet is it? Please use the seven-point scale to rate conditions from Severely Dry to Severely Wet. 

Land use: Tell us what we’re looking at, using one of the checkboxes or “other.” 

Upload photos: You can upload up to five photos of up to 10MB each, if you are the photographer or have permission to share the photo. Please be sure to use the description field below for credit and caption information: Who took the photo, what is the location, what is the date, what direction is the camera facing, and what is it showing us? By uploading a photo, you agree that it may be used and shared for educational and management purposes. 

Tell us more: Please provide a description or caption that lets us know what we should be seeing. 

Contact info: Please provide your name and email in case we need to contact you for more information. We won’t display it.

NDMC Communications