Dutch roundabout webcam an internet hit
A webcam feed of an unassuming roundabout on Gorsstraat in Pumerend has become an unexpected internet sensation. Approximately 3,500 people from around the world is watching the feed day and night, despite the fact that nothing spectacular happens.
The feed has been streaming since the end of May, according to Nieuwsblad, and since then more than a quarter million people watched the webcam images.
On Tuesday US social networking site Reddit somehow became aware of the webcam feed and picked it up. Things started getting a bit weird once Dutch Reddit users started figuring out the location of the webcam and visited it.
It started with a groups of people standing around and waving at the stream. But as is typical of the site, so-called "trolls" quickly started showing up. Someone started spraying graffiti on the roundabout, until the police took notice and investigated. Sometime later another group drew a message in chalk, followed by a wizard doing jumping jacks. Then another group appeared and started cleaning up the graffiti until the police appeared. A full summary of events can be read on Reddit.
Things quieted down after that, according to The Next Web, as the police spent the rest of the night patrolling the area.
The now notorious webcam was installed by software firm Archie, whose offices are near the roundabout. According to Nieuwsblad, the webcam was installed on the roof of their building to test their technology. "This was not intended as a promotional tool for our company", manager Dik van Bommel told the newspaper. "Nobody could imagine such a marketing stunt."
The city of Purmerend is aware of the feed, but has decided not to intervene. "As long as the faces of the people on the roundabout are not recognizable and you can not see into houses, there is no privacy issue." a spokesperson said to Nieuwsblad.