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