You never know what you might pull out when you reach into the world of Carolwood Productions!
This time ‘round, we’ve decided to highlight a project that has been almost a year in the making. Specifically, the complete, ground-up rebuilding of our local lighthouse and museum website.
Some of you may know we have been volunteering for a few years with the Marshall Point Lighthouse & Museum. Last year, the discussion began within the MPLH (Marshall Point Light House) Board about doing a complete re-vamp of the website.
In order to do a great job of the actual site build, we engaged the services of the very talented Matt O’Brien for the job, and he soon began creating a fantastic new website, while we were hard at work creating beautiful new images, content, as well as writing and updating articles. As work progressed, the president of the board asked that we look into integrating a webcam. Little did we know that this simple request would turn into quite the task.
We soon began researching the latest hardware and software, as well as the IT aspects of getting an online, IP camera into operation. It turned out that the hardware bit was the simplest part of the project.
We looked into camera systems that could withstand the full-scale, head on attack that our icy winter’s blast would throw at it every year; not to mention a steady dousing of salty sea spray.
Here is where the camera was ultimately mounted onto the Keeper’s House, looking out seaward towards the light and surrounding islands:
However, most of the heartburn was generated in deciding how to serve-up a stable, LIVE video stream that could be viewed by potentially hundreds of viewers simultaneously.
The breakthrough came when we decided to investigate streaming services that could take that single feed from the webcam, and serve it up to many separate viewers at a time; sort of a Vimeo or YouTube for webcam video. We investigated an outfit located in New Mexico called BrownRice Internet, and after solving some configuration issues, the webcam flickered to life, and began transmitting the lovely Marshall Point Light and it’s idyllic setting to the world late last week.
Here is a still screen capture of the view near sunset:
Finally, here we are at the Exciting Moment you have all been waiting for; a direct link to the live webcam feed that will transport you Auto-Magically to the rugged Maine coast. HINT – after navigating to the link below, click on the “Fullscreen” icon on the lower right. Better yet, view the feed via the “big screen” on your laptop. You’ll experience much more live goodness that way…
While you’re on the Marshall Point Lighthouse & Museum website, spend a few minutes exploring the rest of the wonderful new site in detail.