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 California King Tide Project dates are November 15-17 and December 13-15, 2024.

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Use your smart phone or digital camera 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. (If you'd like to share a video clip of king tides with us, you can upload it here. Email if you have questions.)


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.

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Tide Map
Choose where you want to photograph and then find the nearest pin on on the map below. That will tell you what time high tide will be, and you should take your photo as near to that time as you can, ideally within a half hour. (We're looking for photos in any tidally-influenced location; you aren't limited to the locations pinned on this map.) If you have trouble viewing the map on this webpage, open it in a separate window. You can also check NOAA's Tides & Currents webpage directly to find additional tide information.

Depending on location, some of the King Tide dates may be significantly higher than others. Some parts of inner San Francisco Bay/Delta may have their highest tides on different days, as noted on the map. Try to take your photographs on the day of your location's highest tide, if you're able. Storm swells may increase water height, so it's helpful to check swell forecasts. Focusing on our designated King Tides dates allows us to create a "snapshot" of the whole coast on the highest predicted water levels of the year.



You can upload photos either via a web browser or with the free Survey123 app. Be sure to have your phone's location services ON when you're taking your King Tides photos! If using a digital camera, please make a note of exactly where you are so you can mark your photo location on the map when you upload it via the web browser.
Please email if you have trouble uploading your photos.


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. If using a camera without location services, carefully make a note of where you took your photos so you can mark that location on a map when you upload them.
  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, but you will also be able to mark the location of your photo on a map.

To use the app:
You can download a PDF of the instructions below, including screenshots of 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 using your phone's web browser.
  3. Select "Open in Survey 123 field app."
  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. If preferred, you can use the app without using your phone's data by completing the upload of your photos later when you're on wifi. See instructions below.

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".