DFRA Photo Evidence
REPA Fact Sheet 8
Photo evidence for each damaged asset can prove:
- location of the damage
- the damage was caused by the event
- scope and scale of the damage
- details of the damage.
Photos do not prove a link to the event on their own – they complement other reporting formats to determine pre-disaster condition. An organisation’s asset management system is the main tool used to assess pre-disaster condition.
Collecting and providing photos
Take photos as quickly as possible after an event – the more time that passes between the event and taking photos, the harder it is to show that the event caused the damage.
As soon as you can, choose your best photos and make sure you give them clear file names and dates.
File the images somewhere easily accessible so you can provide them to the Department of Treasury and Finance, State auditors and Commonwealth government auditors for verification when needed.
Format and file information
- High-resolution, colour JPEGs
- Good quality, free of glare or dark/patterned shadows, and clearly showing damage to the asset
- Includes EXIF metadata in photo file, for example, GPS coordinates and time/date taken.
GPS coordinates linked to photo evidence - example diagram
Taking good photos of damaged assets
Preparation and organisation
- Use a GPS-enabled camera to capture the location of the asset’s damage
- Check that the GPS is on and reporting correct location
- Make sure the date and time are set correctly
- Check that the resolution is set to medium-to-high for quality photos
- Keep your charger, back-up batteries and memory cards handy
- Label, save and manage your photos well to link them to the specific asset being claimed
- Save photos in folders by asset using descriptive file names, for example asset name and chainage
- Use clear file references when you return to the office and back up your files. This will help when delivering works and during the close-out phase.
Photos of roads
- Does the photo show the damage from the event? If not, can you see the indicators of damage? Point it out, you have to show the damage to claim it The number of photos needed varies. You need some showing the scale of the damage, some showing the detail (extent/length) of the damage and some looking along the road (or other asset) to show the context
- Sequential image numbers along chainages help in telling the overall story and enable the order of images to be identified
- Take photos at set intervals along the damaged asset. This is important to show consistent damage and consistent treatment requirements or variances in damage and variations in treatments
- Early morning and late afternoon provide optimum contrast to capture damage in road surfaces but avoid glare and dark shadows
- Get down low to demonstrate distinctive damage features (such as pavement deformation) and support proposed treatments
- Mark the damage where it is hard to see (for example, use spray paint)
- Use a straight edge and measure to demonstrate damage. Take a photo of the full straight edge
- Use a ruler or tape measure to demonstrate depth/width/distance. For large distances/widths, consider using a vehicle, person or other scalable landmark.
How to do it
Use a straight edge
Photos of culverts, crossings, flood ways and table drains
- Does the photo show the damage from the event? If not, can you see the indicators of damage? Point it out, you have to show the damage to claim it
- Take close-up photos of each damaged component to demonstrate all disaster-related damage and support each proposed treatment, for example damaged head wall, wash out, rock protection, apron
- Take some distant photos showing the damage within the context of the site or the road – include identifying landmarks to make identification easier
- Take photos along the length of affected drain as well as close-ups of each site of silt build-up
- If overgrown, take more close-ups to show consistent build-up of silt. Consider providing flood mapping if appropriate.