Third Avenue Kiteboarding/Sailboarding Camera Site
Welcome to 3rd Avenue, a kiteboarding/sailboarding site on the San Francisco bay. You should be able
to tell from the various "signs" whether or not to get yourself over to 3rd, one of the best
kiteboarding sites anywhere.
Visit the home of our permanent webcam host, XXX, by selecting the image at the top of this page.
Headquartered in Foster City. Special thanks to XXX for his support with the weather instrument
and YYY who is currently hosting the the webcam in his office.
Do NOT Fly Kites From Or Over The Bike Path
Do not risk public ostracism and shame. If you cannot land your kite on a beach, land your kite in the water. Some
kiters have been seen walking their kites up the sailboarding ramps. It doesn't matter who you are, the
risk to the community and site is the same. In the future photographs may be posted here of individuals who flaunt
this community-approved rule.
Please Do NOT Launch or Land Kites With Lines Over The Bike Path
There are times when launching from the main sailboarding ramp is easier but not necessary. The sailboarding ramp
is the sailboarders main launch point, and kiteboarders shouldn't use it except for emergencies. Please do not
launch from here - it sets a bad example for the rest of the community.
NOTE [10/18/2013]: The camera is off line as of Thursday, October 17, 2013. Unfortunately, unless and until we secure hosting from
Gilead Sciences the webcam and weather instrument will be permanently off line.
In general it is wise to check the timestamp on the website for when the images were gathered, because it always shows their modification date.
If the modification date doesn't match the current day and time then don't use the images to gauge conditions. Use the weather instrument data
and other weather information sources to determine the conditions when the camera is offline.
The 3rd Ave site is north-west of Highway 101 and the San Mateo Bridge (highway 92). We now
have a Virtual Earth map to show you exactly what it looks
like from a birds-eye point of view (not sure when this was taken).
Hours of Operation
The network camera image is currently being updated (8 matrix images plus 33 panoramic images) cyclically.
Camera and Positions
The matrix of eight images and panoramic shot show the conditions across the street from Gilead. All of the images are
taken by our Sony SNC-RZ30N, a PTZ network camera paid for and supported by the local community of sailboarders and
kiteboarders, and maintained now by XXX. Currently the camera is taking 41 pictures in sequence and uploading
them all at once. The first 8 images are the matrix you see below. The remaining 33 are glued into a panoramic
image using ImageMagick montage. It isn't the prettiest 'stitch' because we aren't actually stitching them at all.
If anyone knows of a linux-based and command-line capable stitcher that can do matrix stitches please
tell me where it is. It would be absolutely wonderful to have a real stitcher.
The current settings have been changed to improve image quality and better surveillance.
The images below were last gathered at:
Matrix Image Thumbnails
Below are the most recent matrix (8) images collected. Select an image to see an enlarged version. To get current images
please use reload on your browser. Otherwise timestamp may be out of date with images!
Weather Instrument Flash Page
3rd Ave Site Improvements Project with Foster City
Together with the $650 we received in donations at Arbor Studios we were committed the remainder of the funds
we have with SFBA toward the upgrade of our shower station. These funds will be added to those Foster City has
received for its capital improvement plan (CIP) for 3rd Ave. Those funds include 2 grants, one for about $176,000 and
the other for $120,000. The city council has approved the parks and recreation CIP but there are still some questions
to resolve in the funding at 3rd (hopefully to be resolved in May). The city will contract out for a consultant to
do research, design, and planning, and that will begin this coming fall. Construction isn't expected to begin until around
spring, 2014. A list of expected improvements is itemized below:
In addition, the city is looking into a permanent solution for the bathrooms at 3rd.
- Replacement of carpets in both areas with astroturf (along with grating, drainage, and undersurface)
- Upgrade the current shower station with a park-quality unit with 2 heads
- Replace parking lot chain link fence with concrete picnic tables and boulders
- Informative signs
- New parking lot striping
- Dog bag dispensers
Arbor Studios Store - Donations
Arbor Studios online store
Third Ave iPhone Applications
I have written three iPhone applications to support our servers. One monitors the weather instrument/server and
is called ThirdAveWind. Version 5.3 is on the iTunes App Store. The second one monitors the webcam/server and
is called ThirdAveView. Version 2.2 is on the iTunes App Store. ThirdAveWind and ThirdAveView can launch each
other if you have both of them. This means that you can launch TAW and then you can launch TAV by tapping the
video icon on the lower right tab and it will be launched. From TAV you can return to TAW by selecting either
of the button/gauges at the top of any view. The third application is actually a combination of ThirdAveWind
and ThirdAveView into a single suite of features, called ThirdAveSuite. Version 3.2 is on the iTunes app store.
Although ThirdAveSuite seems like the way to go, it is a bit clunky because there are so many tabs. I prefer
the TAW/TAV combination on the iPhone myself. All of these apps are universal apps, meaning that they run on
iPad as well. ThirdAveSuite is the best way to go on the iPad. All of these apps require iOS 5 or better.
Each of these apps is available for a one-time cost ($4.99) on the app store. This is not intended to be a profit
making venture but to limit the people who download the app to those who actually need it. The fees go to the
development/maintenance of the software and the ISP, with tutorials on the Arbor-Studios site.
3rd Ave Weather Instrument
XXX has graciously agreed to support a weather instrument on their roof. The permanent link is below. This
is a Flash site and the readings are updated approximately every 15 seconds. There have been several questions
about how gusts are determined for the purposes of this display. According to the research I have performed,
gusts are typically defined thusly: 'Standard' gust speeds are measured over a 3 second running mean period."
Our instrument is a Davis Vantage Pro 2 and samples every 2.5 seconds, which is close to the standard
definition, so our gust readings are probably using the standard even though we are only uploading that data
every 15 seconds. For our purposes please consider gust readings to be the same as instanteous wind readings.
Everyone is always asking how the weather instrument compares to values on the water. Well, they are high. For
the iPhone apps I have divided the values from the weather instrument by the multiplier I used to use to convert
from knots to mph. That seems to align the wind speeds with somewhere between the ramp and the channel marker
(from my measurements with my Kestrel).
Weather instrument display (Flash)
Another public site is also available through WeatherUnderground at the following URL. This site will update
information every 30 minutes. The GUI is not kiter/sailor oriented but the information is valid. I believe that
WindAlert is using this information.
Weather instrument display (Weather Underground)
Here is an phone-centric link to the Weather Underground site:
An HTML/non-WML wireless version of this website is available at the following URL. It has
been tested on PPC 6700 and iPhone. It has also undergone some improvement since it was first
released. Please use and report to me directly. Thanks.
Send questions, comments, suggestions, and notifications about cameras, image server, or weather server malfunctioning to:
Jack Hodges @ ARBOR-STUDIOS