Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Ever wondered where George Square’s webcam hides?

Going back a few years, George Square enjoyed having two webcams overlooking its activities.

Both lay behind windows of Glasgow City Chambers, but there’s now only one, roughly in the middle of the top storey. The other was closer to the southern corner, and South Frederick Street.

I was seldom in Glasgow when it was active, and never spotted it.

However, after using the remaining one to check on Glasgow before heading in (sad to say, the reason for doing so was Scotland’s lovely weather, which has recently managed to be soaking wet whenever interesting events were taking place in the Square, so I stayed home, and dry). The weather is better now, so I lined up a few markers as spotted from the webcam view, and decided to try locating it.

Unlike the first try, this effort proved that a little planning makes this a lot easier.

Can you see it?

Glasgow City Chambers George Square webcan

Glasgow City Chambers George Square webcan

Does this help?

Glasgow City Chambers George Square webcam window

Glasgow City Chambers George Square webcam window

Let’s return the favour, and take a REALLY close look.

George Square Webcam

George Square Webcam

Here’s the link, so you can take a look at the view:

George Square Webcam

While the view’s not too bad, it does suffer from being behind that window, so when it rains in the ‘wrong’ direction the image is adversely affected.

There’s not much point in visiting this webcam when its dark either.

One of the square’s spot/floodlight is aimed right down the camera’s throat, and the glare wipes out any chance of seeing anything when it’s dark.

I’ve given up emailing the council, and responding to their request for feedback on the cam page.

Months after finding this problem nobody shinned up the pole and given the offending light a shove.

And when the post was made – surprise surprise, it started raining, in Scotland!

George Square daytime webcam

George Square daytime webcam

And when it gets dark, it looks something like this – great view of the floodlight.

George Square webcam glare

George Square webcam glare

09/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Surveillance | , | Leave a comment

Chapel webcam back at last

After more than a week of absence, this one has come back to life.

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel webcam

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel Interior

Memorial Chapel Interior

30/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Surveillance | , | Leave a comment

Seems I caused the ‘Commentator Effect’ on the Chapel webcam

I mentioned discovering the webcam in the Glasgow University Memorial Chapel recently, which provides an interesting view.

About a week later I found a wedding underway when I look.

Sad to say, it looks as my posting about some things has the same effect on them as Murray Walker’s “Commentator’s Curse” – when he said someone was a lap away from winning a Grand Prix they had let for 50-odd laps, their engine would explode, their tyres burst spontaneously, or they’d just drive off the track and crash for no apparent reason.

After mentioning the webcam again, after seeing that wedding really to happen in the Chapel – the feed went black… and has stayed that way for a week so far.

Sorry ūüė¶

I went for a walk to the Chapel, to see if there were any signs or new notices about the webcam, but there was nothing, and nobody around at the time either.

I’d also taken the walk in case the super bright metal halide lights I mentioned in the first post were not lit – something I’d seen via the webcam on some days.

Unfortunately, these lights were lit, destroying any chance of seeing past them through their blinding glare.

I’d like a decent pic of the organ loft, but as you can see below, even having the lights out of frame still has too much light spill, and the dark loft area is still mostly obscured.

Ah well, maybe next time, a little higher still.

Meanwhile, a lot of fiddling with levels etc recovered this.

Memorial Chapel organ loft

Memorial Chapel organ loft

There are descriptive plaques identifying the various parts of the interior, near the doors, but I can barely read them (the light doesn’t reach), so grabbed a pic of the organ section.

Memorial Chapel descriptive plaque

Memorial Chapel descriptive plaque

I was curious about where the webcams were located, so had a look at the likely spots as estimated from the views I’d seen earlier.

There’s one above the altar, to the side of the central carved figure (sorry, I did look, but the name has slipped my mind, and I’m not going to assume or guess). However, I am assuming the webcam to be the pan/tilt module to the right of the figure. The more obvious white unit to the left appears to be a motion/presence detector.

You get the bonus view of some of the stunning stained-glass which can be seen in the Chapel.

Memorial Chapel altar webcam

Memorial Chapel altar webcam

A similar unit was found mounted around the right place in the window above the aisle.

While a similar detector is more obvious, the camera is almost lost in the darkness – it can be seen in the bottom left corner, where I’ve boosted the brightness to pick it out.

Oh, and some more stained-glass ūüôā

Memorial Chapel aisle webcam

Memorial Chapel aisle webcam

I hope someone remembers they turned the feed off, or fixes it if there’s been a failure,

28/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Somebody should start a ‘Fix George Square webcam lighting’ petition

I wonder why none of the people who like to do such things haven’t seen fit to start a petition to have an offending light in George Square fixed?

The thing has a been a pain for ages, especially when it was getting dark earlier, before we moved the clocks.

One of the square’s pole mounted floodlights is shining right into the George Square webcam, with the result that once it gets dark, the glare from this light blows most of the webcam image away, and the view is almost completely lost until the lights go off.

Like this…

George Square webcam glare

George Square webcam glare

George Square Webcam

I’ve contacted them a few times, using the contact form on the webcam page.

But, since the light is still blinding the cam after some months have passed since I mentioned it for the first time, it looks as if nobody is bothering.

It’s hardly a big job, and there are council workers around the square with cherry-pickers now and then, carrying out other maintenance.

27/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel DOES host weddings AND has more than one webcam

When I mentioned the webcam I came across after visiting Glasgow University Memorial Chapel, I didn’t go into detail.

However, after almost dropping in there this afternoon, a plan aborted as the weather was so nice, I later discovered I wouldn’t have been able to get in anyway.

The chapel does host weddings, provided the participating parting have some connection with the university, and there was one there this afternoon – actually coming to an end as I type this post and watch the proceedings.

Chapel webcam

What was interesting to note was the evidence of more than one webcam (which I’d already noted when I was there), and that there is one looking directly onto the altar and surrounding area, complete sound, AND under live control of an operator, who was clearly using it shoot a ‘Wedding Video’.

I’ve only seen one view online, so far, and wonder if they change the view around?

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel Interior

Memorial Chapel Interior


20/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance | , | 2 Comments

Found a new webcam – University Memorial Chapel

Found an intriguing webcam at Glasgow University, installed in the University Memorial Chapel.

It seems to be live 24/7, although there nothing to see when it’s dark and the lights are off (no IR or low light).

Visitors are also alerted to its presence and constant operation (which includes audio too) by signs, which offer them the option to contact the admin and have these turned off during their visit.

Chapel webcam

Although I’ve wandered around most of the university’s grounds, around the building, and even into a few of them, I hadn’t realised this was the chapel building, or that it was open for wanderers to wander into – there are no public signs outside.

I only discovered this when attending one of the occasional lunchtime organ concerts, which are usually free.

I grabbed a few quick pics as this was the first time I’d seen the place.

The interior is frustrating to view, as there are a number of VERY high intensity lights around the aisle (they look like outdoor discharge lamps), located not far above head height, producing a lot of glare and making it almost impossible to see the ceiling or organ loft. I almost went to try to find someone and ask if they could be switched off, which would be more useful than having the webcam turned off.

This view avoids them (they are off to either side) and looks towards the webcam.

There’s a lot of interesting detail to see there, and it needs a visit to show it.

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel Interior

Memorial Chapel Interior

The rear of the building is easy, as seen from the quadrangle.

Memorial Chapel Rear West Quadrangle

Memorial Chapel Rear West Quadrangle

The facade and entrance, not so easy due to their size and limited space (and the odd tree branch).

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel Entrance

Memorial Chapel Entrance

I tried a quick stitch to get more in shot, but forgot some basic rule for this, so the result was not good on this occasion, and will need another try one day, without all the mistakes. This hardly added anything, and introduced a lot of ‘nasties’ – but taught me a little more, so was not all bad.

Memorial Chapel stitch

Memorial Chapel stitch

18/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Polar bear webcam goes live at Highland Wildlife Park

It’s nice to be able to see the polar bears having a bath at the Highland Wildlife Park, but I think their new webcam is actually more interesting.

Using similar techniques to those employed by the military in remote locations, the webcam is powered by a combination of solar and wind power, backed up by a 3-day battery, and connected to the Internet via a broadband satellite link to keep the picture coming.

For the moment, the video is only live from the morning through to the afternoon, but they keep things interesting by looping recorded video when the live stream is not available.

More on the background here: Highland Wildlife Park installs polar bear webcam – The Scotsman

And the webcam can be found here: Highland Wildlife Park ‚óŹ Polar Bear Webcam

Polar bear family

Polar bear family – we see you (are you lunch?)

Below is a previous pic of the bears and their pool: Walker (R) the polar bear meets with new male companion Arktos at the Highland Wildlife Park on April 9, 2012 in Kingussie, Scotland. Arktos arrived from Hannover Zoo in Germany on April 4 to be a companion to the Park’s resident polar bear Walker. A year older than Walker and slightly larger, Arktos is four-years-old and it’s hoped that the bears will establish a relationship of friendly competitiveness.

Embed from Getty Images

06/05/2014 Posted by | Surveillance | , , , | Leave a comment


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