California King Tides Project. Snap the Shore, See the Future. Waves splash at Cypress Point, Pacific Grove

Take and Share King Tides Photos

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The next King Tides arrive:

NOVEMBER 15-16, 2020
DECEMBER 13-15, 2020
North of Point Conception ONLY: JANUARY 11-12, 2021 *

Use your smart phone to participate in the Project by taking and uploading photos of king tides through the King Tides Photo Upload form. Start by choosing where you'll go to take your photos and then look at the tide map below to find out what time and how high your king tides will be. Take your photos as near to high tide time as you can. Your photos will be displayed on an interactive map. Check back here starting on November 15 for a link to this year's photos.


The most important thing to remember is to be safe! Take extra precautions when you walk on slippery areas or near big waves, and always be conscious of your surroundings and the weather conditions. Don't turn your back on the ocean! Please be aware that shore birds may be taking refuge in areas above the tide line - don't flush them out in the process of getting your shot.

Some of the most powerful images are taken in areas that are subject to flooding and erosion, and of places where high water levels can be gauged against familiar landmarks (such as cliffs, rocks, roads, buildings, bridge supports, sea walls, staircases, and piers).

In addition to uploading your photos, you can also share them on social media using #kingtides. We'll be liking and sharing your posts throughout the King Tides season.

Join #KingTides:
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Map of Tide Times and Heights Coming Soon!



You can either upload photos via a web browser or with the free Survey123 app. Some coastal areas in California may be out of cell service range. If you think your photo location will be out of range, or if you prefer not to use your data for uploading photos, you can still participate by using the Survey123 app with a few preparatory steps as described below. Alternatively, you can upload later via your web browser. Be sure to have your phone's location services ON when you're taking your King Tides photos!
You can download a PDF of the instructions below, including screenshots of the app.

To use the app:

  1. Download the Survey123 app from your app store (for iPhone or Android) and then exit the app. (At this point, if you open the app from your phone, it will ask you to sign in to an Esri account. Don't worry, you don't need an account. Close the app and move on to Step 2 below.)
  2. Go to the King Tides Photo Upload form.
  3. Select "Open in Survey 123 field app." If preferred, you can use the app without using data and complete the upload of your photos later. See instructions below.
  4. IMPORTANT: Before the app launches, it will ask you to allow it to access your location while in use. Select "Allow".
  5. After you've launched the form the first time, you'll be able to access it by simply opening the Survey123 app on your phone. Select "Collect" to launch the form.
  6. Upload your King Tides photo and complete and submit the form by tapping the checkmark icon at the bottom of the screen. You will need to upload each photo individually. The app will tag each photo with its geographic location. Complete the form for each photo you want to upload.

To Use the App Offline:

  1. While you're online, follow steps #1 through #4 above. Once you've done that, you'll be able to open the King Tides Project Photo Survey in the Survey123 app even when offline.
  2. Forms completed while offline will be saved in the app's outbox. While at your King Tides location, submit a form for each photo you want to upload. (Tap the checkmark icon at the bottom of the screen to submit.) The app will tag each photo with its geographic location.
  3. When you are in service range or on WiFi, go back into the Survey123 app on your phone and select the King Tides Project Survey under "My Surveys".
  4. Select "Outbox" and then "Send".

To upload photos via a web browser:

  1. Be sure to have location services ON for your camera when you take your photo! This is the default setting, but you can check on an iPhone by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera. For Android, go to Settings > Location.
  2. Either at your photo location or later, go to the King Tides Photo Upload form and select "Open in browser".
  3. Upload your King Tides photo and complete the form. Repeat for additional photos. Your phone's Location Services will allow us to confirm the location of your photo.


There is an additional, particularly high tide north of Point Conception (southwest Santa Barbara County) due to a combination of astronomical influences such as the relative tilt of the Earth's rotation with respect to the Sun and seasonal influences on water level such as temperature and wind that differ in Southern California as compared to Northern California over the course of the year.