Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011
The morning of October 28, 1886, dawned shrouded in fog and rain, but the weather didn’t dampen the spirits of those who had come to celebrate the dedication of France’s gift of friendship to the people of the United States, an enormous statue of a woman entitled “Liberty Enlightening the World.”
New York City welcomed her with its first ticker-tape parade, and a flotilla of nearly 300 vessels sailed to Bedloe’s Island (now Liberty Island) to greet her. The Statue of Liberty, as she quickly became known, was soon an international beacon of freedom – and she remains so today.
The Statue of Liberty is officially known as “Liberty Enlightening the World.” But to many she is “Lady Liberty,” “The Lady” or even just “the Statue.” Last Friday, October 28th, on the 125th anniversary of its dedication, the statue got a more modern take on her name – “Liberty Enlightening the World Wide Web ” thanks to a series of new web cams placed around her torch.
Several remarkable views are now just a touch of a mouse away. On clear days, three cameras provide unobstructed panoramas and live views of the famed New York City skyline, along with a front row seat to watch views of the majestic Hudson River and ships in New York Harbor. And that’s just looking out. The two remaining cameras provide truly unique views. One provides an ultra wide-angle interactive view of the famed golden torch and the other looks downward.
“You don’t have to be afraid of heights, because for the first time ever, you can see a view from the torch looking down towards her crown, face, tablet and historic Fort Wood all from your computer or smart phone,” said Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Superintendent David Luchsinger. “It’s really a wonderful way for people from around the world to connect with Lady Liberty using today’s technology.”
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. (SOLEIF), the official partner of the park, worked with EarthCam to make these internationally accessible views a reality. Brian Cury, CEO and founder of EarthCam, Inc., the company that designed, produced and donated the technology behind the TorchCam, created custom camera systems that generate live video and wide-screen 25 megapixel panoramic images.
“It has been an honor to work with the National Park Service and the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation to deliver the world the views from the torch,” Cury said.
These cameras give visitors unmatched views from the Statue of Liberty torch, a location that has been closed to the public since 1916.
The staff on Liberty Island has a team of rangers that have been using social media to engage audiences in park events, history and happenings. They covered the events on October 28th live using a variety of social media.
“Our Facebook page is approaching 1900 ‘likes’ with the largest share of the audience from 25 to 45 years old,” said Supervisory Park Ranger Dennis Mulligan. “It’s wonderful to see that we’ve had visits to our Facebook pages from 19 different countries on six continents.”
The traffic to the new torchcam was averaging 5,000 views an hour over the weekend.
Take a look at the conversation and live stream from the torchcam for yourself at:
"Liberty Enlightening the World," the statue that is today more popularly known as the "Statue of Liberty," was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and was dedicated on October 28, 1886.