Behold the Clearing Snow

We received a lot of snow here in Charlottetown over the weekend, and this triggered the usual efficient snow clearing operation from the City of Charlottetown, a stage of which, once the dust has settled, involves pushing the snow from major streets into the middle of the street into a temporary snow mountain and then clearing it all away in a flurry of snowblower and dump trucks.

The IslandCam, conveniently located a few feet from where I type here in The Guild, captured this operation this morning on the lower end of Queen Street between Richmond Street and the water. Here’s a time lapse showing 30 minutes from mountain to “so clean you could eat off the street”:

Here’s how I grabbed the time lapse, using ffmpeg, a wonderful Swiss Army Knife-like video manipulation tool.

ffmpeg -i rtmp://198.167.125.144/islandcam/islandcam.stream -vf fps=1/10 img%03d.jpg

The rtmp://198.167.125.144/islandcam/islandcam.stream is the URL for the IslandCam streaming video; the fps=1/10 says “save one image every 10 seconds” and the img%03d.jpg says “name these files img001.jpg, image002.jpg, etc.”

The result was a folder filled with images snapped once every 10 seconds.

Next, I converted these into a movie with the convert command from the ImageMagick suite:

convert -delay 6 -quality 95 img*.jpg movie.m4v

And, finally, I used VLC to convert this into webm and format to ensure the video can be viewed in as broad a range of browers as possible, inserting it above with

<video controls="" style="width: 653px; height: auto;">
<source src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.ruk.ca/snowclearing.m4v" type="video/mp4; codecs=avc1.42E01E,adpcm_ima_qt)" /> 
<source src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.ruk.ca/snowclearing.webm" type="video/webm; codecs=vp8,vorbis" />
</video>

There’s lots of potential fun and merriment to be had with creating IslandCam time lapses like this: there’s lots going on on Queen Street!

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