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Message ID: 1958     Entry time: 24 Jun 2020
Author: Stefan Ritt 
Topic: Info 
Subject: New image history system available 
I'm happy to report that the Corona Lockdown in Europe also had some positive side 
effects: Finally I found time to implement an image history system in midas, 
something I wanted to do since many years, but never found time for that.

The idea is that you can incorporate any network-connected WebCam into the midas 
history system. You specify an update interval (like one minute) and the logger 
fetches regularly images from that webcam. The images are stored as raw files in 
the midas history directory, and can be retrieved via the web browser similarly to 
the "normal" history. Attached is an image from the MEG Experiment at PSI to give 
you some idea.

The cool thing now is that you can go "backwards" in time and browse all stored 
images. The buttons at each image allow you to step backward, forward, and play a 
movie of images, forward or backward. You can query for a certain date/time and 
download a specific image to your local disk. You can even synchronize all time 
axes, drag left and right on each image to see your experiment from different 
cameras at the same time stamps. You see a blue ribbon below each image which shows 
time stamps for which an image is available. 

Initially, only the most recent image is loaded to speed up loading time. As soon 
as you click on the image or one of the arrow buttons, previous images are loaded 
progressively, which you can see in the ribbon bar becoming blue. For slow internet 
connections this can take some time. For typical webcams and one minute update 
period you get typically a few GB per week.

To make this happen, you define a new ODB subtree 

  Name:          Name of Camera
  Enabled:       Boolean to enable readout of camera
  URL            URL to fetch an image from the camera
  Period         Time period in seconds to fetch a new image
  Storage hours  Number of hours to store the images (0 for infinite)
  Extension      Image file extension, usually ".jpg" or ".png"
  Timescale      Initial horizontal time scale (like 8h)

The tricky part is to obtain the URL from your camera. For some cameras you can get 
that from the manual, others you have to "hack": Display an image in your browser 
using the camera's internal web interface, inspect the source code of your web page 
and you get the URL. For AXIS cameras I use, the URL is typically


For the Netatmo cameras I have at home (which I used during development in my home 
office), the procedure is more complicated, but you can google it. The logger is 
now linked against the CURL library to fetch images, so it also support https://. 
If libcurl is not installed on your system, the image history functionality will be 

I tested the system for a few days now and it seem stable, which however does not 
mean that it is bug-free. So please report back any issue. The change is committed 
to the current develop branch.

I hope this extension helps all those people who are forced to do more remote 
monitoring of experiment during these times.

Attachment 1: Screenshot_2020-06-24_at_17.21.11_.png  1.475 MB  Uploaded 24 Jun 2020  | Hide | Hide all
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