Grand Haven Musical Fountain during the summer Photo: From the US Coast Guard
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (GH Tribune) - People will now be able to watch the Fourth of July fireworks, the Coast Guard Festival fireworks show and Parade of Ships, and every Musical Fountain performance all summer long from anywhere in the world.
The Grand Haven Tribune has installed a Web user-controlled camera along Harbor Drive in downtown Grand Haven.
"It's Grand Haven's only pan-tilt-zoom camera," Tribune New Media Director Eric Koopmans said. "It does all three."
Harbor Cam can be accessed by clicking here:
Mounted on the roof of the Zephyr Building at the corner of Harbor Drive and Franklin Avenue, the camera can be made to pan from left to right and tilt up and down. It has a telephoto lens that can zoom in on the waterfront action by 35 times.
"I am very excited to be able to offer this to our Web site visitors," Tribune Publisher Paul Bedient said. "There's lots to see on our waterfront and now the (musical) fountain can be seen all over the world. I think this page will quickly become our most popular attraction."
Use of the camera is accessible from the Tribune's Web site with an automatic queue. Each user who signs in will have two minutes to control the action - longer if no one else is waiting in the queue.
The camera will also have 10 preset locations, which automatically go to that spot with the click of the mouse. Right now, those presets are channel wide/southwest, channel upriver, Dewey Hill wide, Dewey Hill zoom (to the flag at the top of the hill), boardwalk closeup, Harbor Drive north, Harbor Drive south, Five Mile Hill and the pier. There are two more presets available that are not yet locked in.
The Web cam does not have sound.
"I really didn't think the sound would be a prudent addition to it," Koopmans said.
The online screen has some simple instructions to help the user get started. Koopmans said it should work with any computer operating system platform and Internet browser, as long as the current version of Java is installed.
The $6,000 camera itself is inaccessible to the public. It is protected from the elements by a dome that's heated for the winter and has a fan to cool off the equipment during the hot summer months.