A client runs an FBO operation at a Utah airport and wants to add a live Webcam to his Web site so that pilots can see current weather conditions. For those unfamiliar, an FBO is a small terminal where private planes park, fuel and more. Yes, that includes fancy high-end jets along with two seaters. I’ll talk about not only a good camera, but also a service that is truly needed to have live video on the Web site. That means I’ll include an Amazon link that earns me a few pennies if you buy something with it. Unfortunately it didn’t bring me a free Webcam.
When looking for a Webcam, the search is a little more complicated as it has to be able to withstand harsh weather conditions. If you want more than a black screen at night, you also need a camera that works well in low-light conditions. The choice here was the Amcrest 4MP Camera shown at right. Yes, it costs more than a typical Webcam, but it delivers all the features my client needed and a few more that could be handy.
The plan is to mount the camera on the outside of his building so it has a view of the runway. Having the ability to pan, tilt and zoom will allow him to get the perfect view once the camera is mounted. Even better, it has the ability to work in very low-light situations. This will allow him to give pilots a great view of the conditions day and night.
Having a great camera is only half the battle. Once you have video, you need a way to get that video onto the Web for all to view. What if a local news broadcast loves your camera and shares it with their television audience? This could be great marketing for you, but the service needs to be able to handle the traffic. That’s where the ipcamlive service comes into play. They take the video from your camera and serve it up so it can be live on your Web site as well as other traffic that may find it.
Of course you’ll need a strong enough Internet connection to support sending live video around the clock. Plus some wiring to where the camera is mounted. But if you go with the Amcrest camera and the ipcamlive service, you’ll got what you need!
Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.