San Francisco's FogCam has been saved by SFSU

San Francisco State University has stepped in to save the FogCam, the world's oldest and longest running webcam.

San Francisco's legendary FogCam has been saved. 

The world's oldest and longest-running webcam was slated to fade into history over the weekend after 25 years in operation at San Francisco State University. 

But a few days before the webcam was set to go dark, the university stepped in to save it.  

"San Francisco State University can confirm it has agreed to continue maintaining the FogCam, which prevents shutdown of the service," the university said in a statement. "San Francisco State University has supported operation of the FogCam since its inception in 1994, a major technology milestone at the time. The University looks forward to continuing the webcam's legacy." 

The webcam started as a student project in 1994 when S.F. State students Jeff Schwartz and Dan Wong put together a Macintosh computer and a Quick Camera using custom-made software in the Department of Instructional Technologies.

The FogCam captures images of San Francisco fog and campus life, and is updated every 20 seconds. The duo have said they created the FogCam to give outsiders "a typical view of campus life."
It's usually pointed at Holloway Avenue, but sometimes Schwartz and Wong change it up, pointing the webcam at the lines at the campus coffee shop.

That's in tribute to the Trojan Room Coffee Pot cam that was set up in an old computer laboratory at the University of Cambridge in England back in 1991. Computer scientists, often disappointed to find the coffee pot empty, set up a camera to keep tabs on when the coffee was ready.

But that was before the Internet and images were only sent to an internal computer network. When the camera was connected to the Internet two years later, the coffee pot gained international notoriety as a feature of the shiny and new World Wide Web, according to reports.

The coffee pot cam was retired in 2001, making FogCam the world's oldest and longest-running actual webcam. 

But on Aug. 17, Schwartz and Wong, who refer to themselves online as Webdog and Danno on their website, announced in a tweet that:  "after 25 years, FogCam is shutting down forever at the end of August. Webdog and Danno thank our viewers and San Francisco State University for their support over the years. The Internet has changed a lot since 1994, but FogCam will always have a special place in its history."

But, it seemed the world wasn't ready, to say goodbye to the FogCam, and the Internet stepped in to save it. The hashtag #SavetheFogCam was created and the FogCam's impending demise caught the attention of local and national media.  Someone even made a memorial video for FogCam and posted it online. 

That's when S.F. State stepped in to preserve and run it indefinitely.