Frequently Asked Questions: Webcam
Old Faithful Geyser Streaming Webcam
Where is the webcam located?
What software is needed to view the webcam? What are the limitations?
The Old Faithful Geyser Streaming Webcam page is one of the most popular web pages in the National Park Service, so when the webcam goes down, you can be assured that we are not only doing our best to diagnose the reason why it is down, but we are finding a solution to fix it. When the webcam goes down, it is generally an infrastructure issue. The Old Faithful area often experiences power bumps or a loss of power. This impacts whether the webcam works or not. Our new webcam is designed to reboot itself automatically when power is restored. The T1 line and router that the webcam connects to can be unstable at times. This equipment is operated and generously funded by our park partner, and they work with the service provider to keep it running. Service technicians that are dispatched to resolve an issue have to drive a long distance to this remote area to diagnose and correct the problem, and this can take some time, especially during the winter season.
Why is the lens always dirty and why don't you clean it?
Wind catches the over-spray from Old Faithful during an eruption and coats the dome housing for the camera with water, silica and dirt. Cleaning the dome on a regular basis in the winter isn't always possible given the snow depth and access to the webcam. In the spring, summer and fall, we do our best to clean the lens with available staff.
What is causing the camera image to shake or sway from time to time? It looks choppy.
Why did you upgrade the webcam? Why did you remove the Upper Geyser Basin static webcam?
Why don’t you have a label that pops up to tell us the name of the geyser we’re watching?
This webcam is HD, but our bandwidth capacity on the available T1 line restricts us to using a resolution of 960x540 at 15 frames per second.
Why do I sometimes get an image that is almost all grey with very little detail?
Who is controlling the camera?
Are there plans to make the camera controls available to the general public?
Why isn’t the default setting for Old Faithful Geyser focused in on the geyser? It currently shows visitors on the boardwalk in the foreground.
Will this camera be used to deliver live ranger programs over the Internet?
Are you planning to install other live streaming video webcams around the park?
We want to wave to our family from Old Faithful when we visit but this camera is constantly moving from one scene to another. How can we wave to our family?
The Webcam keeps showing the same picture and time/date stamp over and over. Why?
When will you clean the snow, ice, water droplets, bugs, and other stuff obstructing the view?
There used to be 2 webcams in the Albright Visitor Center. One was pointed at the Travertine Terraces and one was pointed a picnic table on the Parade Ground. We had to move the webcams in order for rehabilitation of the visitor center to take place, so we moved one to the temporary visitor center that still has a view of the Travertine Terraces and the Parade Ground. Instead of eliminating the other webcam, we installed it in the only place that has a network connection that still has a view of Mammoth Hot Springs. We installed it to face the historic Officers' Row, knowing elk and bison would be seen. We did this not knowing construction trailers would be in the view. We receive a lot of emails for and against this view, but we know you like webcams, so it will stay until we can move it back into the Albright Visitor Center.
Why did you change the angle of the Old Faithful webcam inside the visitor center?
The webcam inside the visitor center at Old Faithful is out of reach high on a windowsill. Over time, that webcam slowly rotated to the left due to vibrations from small earthquakes. It shifted because the webcam base was never secured to the windowsill. We climbed a large ladder and rotated the webcam back to its original angle and did our best to secure the webcam in place so it doesn't rotate again. We receive a lot of emails for and against this view, but we have decided to keep this view.
Why did you take down the Upper Geyser Basin webcam?
The new streaming webcam we installed in May, 2014 is a network camera and requires an IP address. There were no more IP addresses available to use at Old Faithful, so we opted to use the IP address from the Upper Geyser Basin webcam for the new streaming webcam. We understand that the view had become a favorite over the years, but we also hope that you will be pleased with clearer view of the same area.
I would like a different webcam angle. Will you change the view for me?
The technicians call this a "tear" and it is a recognized characteristic of the Sony block camera that is used in the NetCam Megapixel camera. It occurs when a large, extremely bright portion of the image is next to a considerably darker portion. This occurs every morning on the Old Faithful Webcam since the sun rises in front of the camera and off to the right. It also occurs at other times of the day when the sky is extremely bright compared to the treetops. This problem never occurs on the Mammoth Webcam since there are no extremely bright areas in that image.
The Webcam shows a white page, a partially loaded page, or an error message. What should I do?
When I come back to the Webcam after being away, it shows an old picture. Why?
The Webcam page loads but there is no picture. Why?
I used to be able to see weather data on some of the webcams. Why can't I see it?
I used to be able to see the next Old Faithful prediction time on the static webcam. Why did you remove that?