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Monday, June 8, 2009

Just What You Always Wanted: A Webcam Capturing the Nonstop Action at -- the Farallones?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2009 at 5:30 AM

click to enlarge Webcam, ahoy! - JIM HERD
  • Jim Herd
  • Webcam, ahoy!
Longtime listeners to San Francisco Giants broadcasts will be familiar with KNBR radio's ubiquitous catchphrase touting its broadcasting might: "From the Farallones to the Rockies..." Many a fan has probably stopped to wonder who, exactly, is catching those ballgames out on the Farallones? Whales? Don't be silly -- they like soccer. Perhaps its the lonely researchers from the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. With a lifetime that solitary, baseball on the radio could become an unhealthy obsession.

As of today, you'll be able to see whomever it is potentially listening to those games on the chain of islands 27 miles off the city's westernmost tip  thanks to a live Webcam. This solar-powered camera is a project of the California Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the aforementioned PRBO.

What do you stand to see? Birds. Sea lions. Sharks. Jimmy Hoffa. The world is your oyster (but you won't see any oysters).

Anyway, here's the technical jargon:

The Webcam is an Axis 233D network dome camera with half hi-definition

resolution. It beams image data via a microwave link between the

Southeast Farallon Island and San Francisco's Twin Peaks. The pan,

tilt, and zoom features of the camera will provide 360-degree views of

the island.

Network infrastructure for the Webcam was provided by the

City and County of San Francisco's Department of Technology -- so you can insert your own joke about the mayor being forced to glean the passwords from a jailed renegated techie here.

Photo   |   Jim Herd

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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