Smile! You’re on Grand Ave. camera
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A peek at live traffic conditions around the site of the city’s ongoing water line replacement project now just takes a couple of clicks of the mouse.
To aid motorists who are about to leave home or work, city information systems director Bruce Munroe recently installed a Smile Cam at the corner of 8th Street and Grand Avenue.
The camera, located high above traffic on the U.S. Bank building, sweeps 300 degrees and can be controlled from any home or business computer using the Internet.
“The bank’s been really good about it,” he said.
Using the controls, a user can sweep from the Grand Avenue Bridge all the way to a south-facing view of the street.
A microphone embedded in the camera even gives the viewer a sense of the traffic noise at the construction site.
“It’s wireless,” Munroe said. “It uses the city’s canopy network.
“The only cabling off this device is for electricity, but we’re looking at using solar power.”
The camera went online Sept. 3, the second day of the water line project. Its cost was minimal, just $150 for the unit itself and Munroe’s time. The images are captured locally, then sent to the camera’s maker, Smile Cam in Toledo, Ohio, where they’re instantaneously shot to local PC users (the camera doesn’t jive with Apple software).
Using broadband, the camera’s images come across the screen at a rate of about five frames per second. But the system also caters to users with a slower modem connection.
Munroe hasn’t yet received a request to use the camera during the upcoming Grand Avenue Paving Project.
“But I think that’s coming,” he said.
After the camera is finished showing live traffic conditions at the site of construction projects, Munroe said it likely will be placed somewhere high above the city – possibly on Red Mountain – so Internet users from all over can pan across Glenwood Springs and see what they’re missing.
The camera is just one new feature found on the city’s new Web site that went online in July.
Aside from the revamped site’s stunning visual overhaul, Munroe added lots of new content such as the City Code, maps and a space to easily read about current events or concerns.
“Web sites are a functional thing as well as a visual thing,” he said. “More content will be added in over time.”
To check out the live traffic camera, go to the city’s Web site – http://www.ci.glenwood-springs.co.us/ – then scroll down to the bottom and click on the link “Grand Avenue Water Project.” Once there, scroll to the bottom and click on “Grand-Cam.”
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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