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Contact: Ace Crawford, 605-574-3185
KEYSTONE, SD – As a result of a partnership forged between the National Park Service and South Dakota Public Broadcasting, people worldwide are now able to log on http://www.sdpb.org/webcams/mtrushmore.aspx and see live webcam pictures of an American icon, Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
The National Park Service was contacted by SDPB officials in the summer of 2010, with a proposal to install a new state of the art webcam on the Memorial grounds, replacing the existing obsolete camera. The camera was installed at the Memorial last fall, and was recently launched providing live real-time pictures to internet visitors. SDPB provided the camera and hardware, and Mount Rushmore provided fiber connection and cooperative technical staff support.
The primary focus of the webcam is to enhance educational programming at the Memorial. The Memorial’s Interpretation staff plan to incorporate the webcam into their school visits. They will be able to log on the website from the classroom and "go live to Mount Rushmore" showing students webcam pictures of the Memorial. Interpretation staff will also have the capability to remotely adjust the webcam’s picture and provide virtual tours to the students directly from the classroom. The webcam includes the capacity to get up close and personal with the Presidents, with the ability to showcase one entire Presidential face at a time. As a courtesy, a banner sign on the webcam will inform internet visitors when the webcam is being used for educational purposes. The majority of classroom visits by Interpretation staff will occur during the winter months, minimizing inconvenience to webcam visitors.
The webcam will also serve as an informational resource for anyone who is interested in current weather conditions at the Memorial. By simply logging on, a person will have a real-time picture of the sculpture, which can help determine if the weather is conducive for a visit. Please note that the first time internet visitor may be prompted to install supporting software.
Officials at both organizations are enthusiastic about the informational and educational opportunities presented by the webcam’s presence on the Memorial grounds.
"We're happy to assist the National Park Service in providing this tool that will not only attract tourists, but can also be used by educators as part of their educational outreach initiatives," said Kent Osborne, Director of SDPB Online.
According to Mount Rushmore Superintendent Cheryl Schreier, this partnership is a win-win situation, "Mount Rushmore, our visitors, and schoolchildren from all across the area, will certainly benefit from this technology, and South Dakota Public Broadcasting will have the opportunity to showcase their incredible online services. We will continue to explore the vast number of opportunities that exist via this webcam, and continue to enhance the educational programming offered at Mount Rushmore."
The camera will be operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To access the webcam, log on: http://www.sdpb.org/webcams/mtrushmore.aspx.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting is a statewide multi-media network offering quality entertainment and lifelong learning via Television, Radio, Internet and Education & Outreach. For information about SDPB and the Friends of SDPB, go to SDPB.org or call 800-456-0766.