About these 'live cams' ....
On the inception of the original 'Torbay Today' page on December 1 1999, photos were a simple image provided by an Apple QuickTake 150. Image was equivalent to that of a 50 mm objective in a 35mm camera. By mid December I had obtained a super-wide angle lens that provides double the field of view horizontally and vertically.
I experimented with photo composites, taking two horizontal format photos to provide a greater field of view, and while the results were excellent, it added to the daily process. You may have seen the results of this process on the (old) 'Torbay Today' page depending on how much time I had available for the setup. The composite was readily identifiable, as by looking closely you could discern the 2 individual photos joined near the middle. The previous image is from the 17th of November 2000.
In December 2000 I began experiments with 'live' web cams, first a 'yard' cam, followed by the 'beach' cam. These were an immediate hit... judging by the emails and comments received. After some hardware/software upgrades and much troubleshooting the test images through the year 2000 holidays (see 'news second half of 2000') resolved into a working solution to the manual morning composites of the old 'Torbay Today' page. This page was then modified to include the City of North Bay webcams so that all local live cams could be viewed together. The advantage of the 'live' cams is easy to understand... no more daily snaps to take/manipulate and upload, plus the cam images are 'current' and provide a great indication of what our weather is like, although much 'activity' seems to happen between the new photo uploads... oh well... By late January, the bugs were ironed out with the hard & software, and the new Welcome to Torbay page replaced the old Torbay Today page.
What you are looking at is the view from Torbay Cottages out over Lake Nipissing, and if you look closely and the weather is reasonable, you will note some islands in the center of the image. These are the Manitou Islands and are about 10 km (6 mi) from where the photo is taken. They are due West from where we are. The islands are shown on the map below, and this gives you some idea of how big our little lake really is!
Why the chore of installing the live cams? Well, fully half of Torbay's guests have access to the Internet, (over 80% of the snowmobiling crowd do!) and many email or icq quite regularly to ask how the weather is and enquire about availability. This is even more true to the (winter) snowmobiling crowd who check in for snow and trail conditions. Lots of folk wonder if the ice is gone from the lake yet, or if we have high or low water (or no water as in spring of 1999!). ... a picture speaks a thousand words they say...
It is for the same reason that I have created the (auto loading, thank goodness) Weather Page. This hopefully provides additional information of interest or use in planning your stay here at Torbay (or give you a hint of why today's live cam photos look like we are suffering ;-)).
Images are captured by two 3com homeconnect cameras, compressed about 60% and saved locally and uploaded automatically to the server using webcam32. While these cameras are relatively expensive, they have excellent low light capabilities and image quality is good. I am also experimenting with various other camera software to allow motion detecting, but at this time this process seems to consume too much processor power in my computer. The cameras are located in the loft windows of my house, with the Beach Cam having a super wide angle lens installed.
Any suggestions you have on making this process more interesting for you are welcome. Actually any comments pro or con are appreciated period...just send my a simple, quick email to email@example.com Many thanks - Steve
Click here to return to the Welcome (streaming cams pics) page
Click here to return to the live (static image) cams page
The Live Cameras were originally installed by Joel Falardeau of JMF Network Services and
Return to Home Page
Office 1.705.476.0076 Toll Free at 1.888.7TORBAY Fax at 1.705.474.4266 email firstname.lastname@example.org