We have an aging/ailing streaming webcam that has been surprisingly popular for several years here at Ohio Wesleyan. It's a PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) user-controllable camera with a Java-based interface that can be embedded on a website.
We've heard numerous anecdotes of students (especially international students) arranging to stand in view of the camera at a predetermined date/time and wave to their families watching back home and whatnot.
At any rate, with this year's crazy-cold weather, our current camera has finally given up the ghost. So, we're starting to look at our options for replacement/enhancement.
One idea that has come up is replacing the single PTZ camera with three or four static cameras placed strategically around campus.
The main problem being that nobody here could be considered a "webcam expert" (our current camera was acquired with the help of a consultant about eight or nine years ago, and all of the people the consultant interacted with are no longer working here).
So, it's basically limited to what I can find online. The problem with that is that there are a ton a options for this sort of thing, and when they start talking about video codecs and streaming standards and whatnot, my eyeballs start to glaze over.
Does anyone have any good examples of this sort of university webcam system in-use and, more importantly, does anyone have any technical information as to how to achieve this sort of thing?
Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided,
Manager of Web and Electronic Communications
Ohio Wesleyan University