Thursday, July 22, 2021

Post #32 - Storm Spy Saga, Part 2: Twitch Once More, For I-94!

Content that I had successfully located the golf ball radar shown in the KRDN weather stream on Twitch, I turned my attention to another feature of the stream that caught my eye.

I wanted to find this camera. To me, that meant either seeing the camera itself, perhaps from a Street View car, or actually accessing the camera and watching its feed directly. Let's get started by analyzing the still image from the KRDN Twitch stream and highlighting some areas of interest.

So, item by item, we'll step through the image:

• The shrubbery I've highlighted in blue. It's only on one side of the road, which will help us narrow things down from perhaps Google Maps or Google Earth. Also, it will help orient us.

• The sign above the road I've also highlighted for basically the same reasons.

• The flow and shapes of the road I've highlighted, again, as it will help us narrow down candidate areas on a map, especially when combined with the first two highlights.

• ...and the camera information quite literally gives us the road name and city.

The best place to start is obviously the information at the bottom of the camera feed. The three main data points that I gathered from this information were I-94, Mandan, and NDDOT.

Okay, that was easy enough. The preview of I-94 shows that Mandan is just slightly west of Bismarck. Now, to find some candidate cameras. For widespread, often government-maintained cameras, my first choice tends to be Windy.

Dang. Thought we might get lucky, but nope. So, if Windy doesn't have any other traffic cameras in the area, where could we possibly view them? Well, it actually occurred to me, only now, to review the "Provider's Website" link on Windy, which I had never done before.

That link leads us to this page, which then leads us to another page. Both of these pages, as you might have noticed, belong to NDDOT, just like the camera still from our Twitch stream revealed. We're getting closer.

The NDDOT page we've discovered gives you the ability to filter by traffic cameras, so I did that and started looking for cameras that matched the layout of the road as we noted earlier.

I definitely made myself proud here, as I picked the highlighted camera first based on the curvature of the road and was actually correct!

Let's compare the footage from this camera (right) to the still image we saw on Twitch (right).

Skewed aspect ratio aside, we definitely located the exact camera in use by KRDN for their weather broadcasts! Sadly, this particular camera only provides image snapshots once per minute, but nevertheless, we were able to look through the very same lens we saw on a news station broadcast, and that's kinda neat!

Good luck weathering the storm. I'll be back with Part 3 as soon as I can!

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