|It’s been at least 9 months in the making, but today we are giving birth to the new look and feel of Opentopia!
The old version was getting increasingly tired looking and whilst worked a treat, there have been several improvements we realised were needed over the last few years and have worked hard to bring them to you now.
Firstly, you’ll notice now we’re all about the webcams! By far the most popular section of the old Opentopia, the webcams came to be the most prominent and interesting part of the site. We’re still all about displaying what’s out there, ‘open’ and public, and feel that narrowing the site down to just the cams gives us a great springboard to develop new and interesting ways of organising the data which is out there.
It was clear that the old comments system, whilst it served a purpose, needed some safeguards against people spamming it, or impersonating others. To that end, we have introduced two ways of ‘Signing in’ to the site in order to comment and perform other community based activities.
You can use your existing Facebook account to log in, saving you signing up for yet another site – or if you don’t have Facebook or prefer to keep everything seperate, you can create an account on Opentopia to continue commenting on the cams you know and love.
10 x More Webcams
We have worked hard to find new and different ways to search for public webcams and as a result can bring you 10 times as many cams as before! We are launching with what we hope will be our ‘bare minimum’ for some time, of around 5000 webcams. We’re planning to put into practice our regular scanning techniques very shortly, including some new algorithms in order to bring you the freshest webcams found online.
This highly requested feature gives you an idea of the webcams in the area your IP address belongs to – so hopefully you can get an idea of those near to you. By scrolling around the map and clicking ‘Reload Cams’, you’re able to browse the entire webcam database by location.
More Sophisticated Webcam Info Editing
For launch, we have made best-guess estimates on each webcam’s location, based on their IP address and any other available information. To that end, some data may be slightly incorrect. Now, when logged in, you have a way to update the cams in a way which is much more tied to the data we hold. We also built in safeguards so that any major changes require our approval to keep the site tidy.
Forget web browser bookmarks for Opentopia now – you can now ‘Favourite’ your most visited/liked webcams using the ‘Star’ icon when you are logged in. Those cams then appear in your ‘My Cams’ section, for you to access quickly.
We appreciate what it’s like to see something happen on a webcam and want to get some of your friends to see the same thing quickly, well now you can ‘Like’ every cam on Facebook, and/or share the webcam page through Twitter and other Social Media/Bookmarking sites to draw people’s attention to something going on in an easy to use way on each webcam page.
We are now on Twitter, and we will use it! Feel free to follow and tweet us @Opentopia
Things Which Are ‘Not Quite’ There
We wanted to launch the new site with the main features in tact and once we are happy that the site doesn’t continuously break down, will ‘bug fix’ and make good any of the issues you might see!
This includes some minor graphical elements that may look out of place, or behind the scenes finding more cameras automatically. Please bear with us while our new baby gets used to the world and settles down to an ever evolving life of its own!
January 28, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Site News | No comment