Corn Truck Cleanup

This past Tuesday A semi filled with corn tipped over on interstate 490 downtown.  Since the news didn’t have any up to date pictures I went searching for webcams that showed it.  Soon enough I found 2 that had decent shots of the incedent.  It took about 6 hours from the time of the accident before traffic resumed.  Just in time for rush hour.  So much for a speedy cleanup.  Since I’ve been in the mood for some timelapses lately, I used the WebCam Tracker I wrote a while back to grab some shots throughout the day.

Kinda interesting.  In the process I found a few things I need to do to the app to fix some annoyances.

WebCam Tracker v0.9.0

For whatever reason I wanted to spend a little more time on my WebCam Tracker program by throwing a UI on top of it.  I did and it turned out reasonably well for my first foray into SWT.

3 things I would still like to do:

  1. Thread the image retrieval process.  It’s done but something happens with the output streams on the new thread which causes it to hang when System.out is called.  If I figure that out it’ll be easy to re-implement.
  2. Implement the progress bar at the bottom of the window.  It should be able to track the progress based upon the provided duration easily enough.
  3. Come up with a better widget for picking the duration and delay times.

Since I took a little bit of extra time to glossy it up a bit, there’s no sense in making it go to waste.  I threw the code & the distribution up on Google Code.  You can see it at WebCam Tracker.

Another time-lapse I did using WebCam Tracker.  Kinda neat.

Sunset over Lake McDonald

Let me know what you think, and of course I welcome any comments/feedback about the app.  Not that I’ll necessarily do anything about them… I don’t plan on spending much time on it… but I’d like to know.

Hawaiian Tsunami Timelapse

I heard about the possible Tsunami hitting Hawaii on Saturday about an hour before the predicted time.  As any photographically inclined programmer would do I went searching for some WebCams.  Once I found some that were returning images (most were timing out or saying too many users) I decided it would be neat if I could capture the images over time and throw them together into a video later.

About 15 minutes later and  WebCamTracker was born.  It’s nothing fancy, just a small Java class that’ll pull down a single image or multiple from the specified URL. To run it just use:

java WebCamTracker <webcam URL> <output directory> <?Max Duration?> <?Delay?>

Fortunately (but unfortunately for the video) the Tsunami didn’t really amount to much in Hawaii.  The video does however show the surges so it’s still pretty neat.  I ran WebCamTracker on 3 WebCams: Kanaha, Sprecks, & Hilo Bay. They turned out pretty sweet even if they don’t show much wave action.  Pretty good for my first time-lapse, even if I didn’t actually take the pictures myself.  Something I might play with soon though…

Anyway, Check it out:

side note: Music by JukeBox the Ghost, one of my favorite bands.

WebCamTracker.java

Saranac Ice Palace

The 2010 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is about to kick off and I was planning on stopping by. My parents visited the Ice Castle last year and I never got the chance so it was on the list for this year. You can see a Time Lapse of the build from last year below:

They started building the one for this year this past week and you can watch the progress on the Webcam below (updated every few seconds):

Ice Palace Webcam

With all the rain and the warm temperatures… It doesn’t look good for the palace, but here’s hoping it only slowed the process and didn’t kill it.

Hope I get to see it this year.