MIT grad student takes a million photos of Boston skyline


posted Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 5:52 PM EDT


Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student Adrian Dalca has been taking images of the Boston skyline from his 22nd story apartment for the past five-plus years. In fact, he's taken more than a million images of the storied skyline spanning 69 months. 

Throughout this time Dalca has photographed many events, from fireworks shows to thunderstorms. He even documented the breaking up of ice in the Charles River, see the time-lapse below. As he says in an interview with, "If there's an event that you can point to, it's likely I have a shot of it."

Dalca hopes that his images may prove to be useful. When treating his catalog of images as a dataset, perhaps analysis of his images will be able to show patterns in weather, urban development, or flight frequency in and out of Logan Airport.

To make the images useful, he is working on narrowing it down and compressing it into something manageable. As of right now, there is a lot of data and it simply isn't feasible to share in its entirety. While it's not clear how his images can be used, he's confident that a project is imminent.

Several cameras have been used as part of Dalca's project, including a Canon 5D Mark II, a GoPro Hero 2, GoPro Hero 3, and several point-and-shoot and phone cameras. In total, he's captured one million JPEG images and 12,000 RAW images. These images have been converted into a hundred time-lapse videos.

You can view a sampling of Dalca's images on his Boston Timescapes Project website.

He has also uploaded two sample groups of images into tipiX frames here and here.

(Seen via