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FAQ

Snapshot General#

How can I process all the images from a folder to Snapshot Cloud or SDK?#

We created this Python script you can use to send all the images in a folder to Snapshot SDK or Cloud API.

Here is the procedure to run it:

  1. Make sure you have python3 installed.
  2. Download the file plate_recognition.py
  3. Replace /path/to/* with the actual path to the folder containing the images. For example: /tmp/SonnyCarwash-Genetech-US/
  4. From a CMD, run this command python plate_recognition.py

How do I upload vehicle images to Snapshot from an FTP folder?#

We created this Python script you can use to upload images from an FTP folder to Snapshot.

Here is the procedure to run it:

  1. Make sure you have python3 installed.
  2. Download the file ftp_processor.py
  3. From a CMD, run this command python ftp_processor.py

You can type python ftp_processor.py --help for help with using this script.

What is the difference between Snapshot Cloud and SDK?#

Snapshot Cloud and SDK both take images as input and output the decoded license plate and relevant information. The main difference is that the SDK runs on-premise in your environment, whereas you have to send images over the Internet to our Snapshot Cloud. See a comparison table of Snapshot Cloud and SDK.

What image formats can Snapshot handle?#

Snapshot Cloud and SDK can take as input JPG, PNG and a good number of other image formats. However, our engine is more optimized for JPEG.

What cameras can I use with Snapshot Cloud or SDK?#

Our ALPR software can run on any IP camera. All you have to do is to send the camera image over to our Snapshot Cloud or SDK.

What is the structure format of the ALPR response?#

Please go to Snapshot API Documentation, under the JSON Response section.

How can I send an image stored in memory to Snapshot Cloud or SDK?#

You can avoid first saving an image in memory or downloading from a URL to disk by directly sending the image bytes to the Snapshot API. Read more here.

Yo can also refer to this Python example or this Java example.

What should I do when Snapshot does not correctly decode an image?#

Please let us know! Please include a a few images and we’d be happy to take a look.

When do the number of lookups reset for Snapshot?#

The lookup counter resets each month on the day of the subscription. So for example, if you subscribed to a Small Plan on January 5th, then on February 5th, the lookup counter will be reset to 0.

The number of lookups that are not used in a particular month do not roll over to the next month.

You will get notified via email for Snapshot Cloud users (and for Snapshot SDK users who are connected online) when you reach 80%, 90% and 95% of your monthly lookup quota.

How can I set up Plate Recognizer with Blue Iris?#

Please see the quick steps for Blue Iris integration with Plate Rec.

In my Meraki MQTT setup, I got a Test Connection failed message. What should I do?#

Good news! The MQTT connection works even when the “”Test Correction”” button fails.

This error arises when you edit an existing MQTT broker and test the connection. This is a known bug and has been filed with the Meraki team (Case 05754663).

Is there a file size limit for Snapshot Cloud and SDK?#

Our Snapshot Cloud has a 3 MB file size limit for images. There is no file size limit on the Snapshot SDK.

How do I get or enable Vehicle Make, Model and Color (MMC)?#

To get Vehicle Make Model and Color with Snapshot, please first subscribe.

Then, make sure to have mmc=true in Stream and in the Snapshot API call. Refer to our Snapshot API Documentation.

Snapshot SDK#

How do I automatically start Snapshot SDK when the container reboots?#

Please go to set the container options for auto-restart. Or, use the SDK Manager and configure the SDK to auto-restart.

What do I need to do after additional lookups are added to my Snapshot SDK?#

You can restart the container or wait 24 hours for Snapshot SDK to ping home to validate the subscription. When subscription is validated, the additional, updated lookups will be reflected in the SDK.

What hardware options do I have for installing Snapshot SDK?#

Snapshot SDK supports a variety of hardware, including Windows PC, Mac, Linux machines, Jetson Nano and others. See our list of Snapshot SDK Supported Devices.

Can I deploy Plate Recognizer ALPR software on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure or Google Cloud?#

Yes! You can run Snapshot SDK on any cloud provider.

For AWS, you can deploy our Snapshot SDK on AWS over EC2, ECS and EKS. Go here for AWS setup instructions.

Does Snapshot SDK require Internet connection to operate?#

Yes and no. Installing the Snapshot SDK always requires Internet connection, since you have to download the files from the Internet. Thereafter, a subscription plan to Snapshot SDK will “call home” a few times a month to validate the subscription. No images are sent, but only a few bytes of data are sent to validate the subscription.

So flakey, intermittent Internet is OK for the Snapshot SDK subscription. If there is absolutely no Internet available at all, then you can go with a Perpetual License of the Snapshot SDK.

Please contact us for more information about a Perpetual License for the Snapshot SDK.

How fast is the Snapshot SDK? What is the inference speed?#

The inference speed of Snapshot SDK can be as fast as 21 ms. It really depends on the hardware you use.

Please see the Snapshot SDK Inference Speeds.

How do I get the Snapshot SDK Installer?#

Please go here to download the Plate Recognizer Installer.

Plate Recognizer on-premise software runs in a Docker container. Go here to get instructions on installing Docker.

How do I confirm that Docker is running?#

Test the installation by running the following the hello world image:

docker run hello-world

Need help installing Docker? Go here for step by step instructions.

How do I change the port of the container?#

Please refer to the Networking section in the Snapshot SDK Installation Steps.

How do I verify that Snapshot SDK is running?#

Do a CURL command to verify that the Snapshot SDK is running.

Find instructions in the Snapshot SDK Installation Steps.

How do I know that the Snapshot SDK has successfully been installed?#

Watch for a [worker-0] Ready! message from the startup logs.

How do I utilize GPU for Snapshot SDK on a Jetson device?#

Snapshot SDK will use GPU by default. Please see the Snapshot SDK Installation Steps.

How do I install Snapshot SDK via Docker for Windows.#

We recommend that you use our Plate Recognizer Installer to install Snapshot SDK. Please go download the Plate Recognizer Installer.

If you strongly prefer to install via Docker, please refer to our Docker Help page.

What does this error mean: License file not found for Snapshot SDK installation?#

This means that the system does not recognize the API Token or License Key for Snapshot SDK.

Please double-check your API Token and License Key. Also, make sure the device has Internet connectivity.

How do I add a layer of authentication to the Snapshot SDK?#

  • Make the SDK listen locally
  • Use a proxy server such as Nginx or Traefik to authorize and route requests to it.

Here is an example of how to do it using Nginx with HTTP Basic Authentication: 1) Ensure the Snapshot SDK container is not listening publicly. Then you use NGINX as a middleware to proxy requests to it. There are 2 variations to this setup: A. Running Nginx separately besides Docker. This is recommended if you are not familiar with Docker. B. Running Nginx and the SDK in Docker then using Docker networking to connect the two containers. This is recommended if you are familiar with Docker.

Here is how to set up A:

  1. Run the Snapshot SDK but make it listen on localhost. In the run command, don’t include –net=host option. Then bind to only the localhost interface like this -p 127.0.0.1:8002:8080 instead of binding to all interfaces like this -p 8002:8080
  2. Install Nginx on the HOST and add a server block that will proxy requests to the SDK container. Here is an example for 127.0.0.1:8002
server {server_name _;location / {    proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:8002;}listen 0.0.0.0:8080;}

At this point you should be able to make Un-Authenticated ALPR requests to SERVER-IP:8080 the same way you do the SDK directly.

  1. Add HTTP Basic Authentication to the server block. Please refer to https://docs.nginx.com/nginx/admin-guide/security-controls/configuring-http-basic-authentication/

What does this error mean: This license has already been used?#

This error message means that the license has already been used. We permit only 1 Snapshot SDK license to be installed only one machine. To resolve this issue, please uninstall the license from the previous machine before installing it on this machine.

If you have a Subscription for your Snapshot SDK license, please go to your Account Page and then click Manage > Reset for that particular license key. If you have a Perpetual License, then unfortunately, we will not be able to recover the Perpetual License Key, per our Terms for Perpetual License.

Snapshot Cloud#

Where can I find API samples to integrate Snapshot into my software?#

Please go to Snapshot API Documentation.

Can I call Snapshot API for ALPR from Javascript?#

Yes, you can but we do not recommend doing so as it would force you to make your secret API TOKEN public which is probably not what you want. It is better to interface with Plate Recognizer Snapshot on a server instead.

Can I post images to an FTP Server and then process them on Snapshot Cloud?#

Yes! We have some clients that send the image from the camera over to an FTP Server. We are then able to run a software script to grab images from the FTP Server straight to our Snapshot Cloud.

Where is Snapshot Cloud hosted?#

We use Linode and Amazon Web Services with servers located in the USA for our cloud hosting.

What do I do if there's a software update for my Snapshot Cloud account?#

There’s nothing to do! You automatically benefit from new software updates on Snapshot Cloud. There is no software to install or anything else you have to do.

What is the error: Connection Attempt Failed?#

This error message appears when you attempt to do a lookup too many times per second. A Free Trial of Snapshot Cloud has a limit of 1 lookup per second. A paid Snapshot Cloud plan has a limit of 8 lookups per second.

If you need more than 8 lookups per second, please let us know. Additional fees may apply.

How long are images stored in the Snapshot Cloud dashboard?#

We store images for 7 rolling days in the Snapshot Cloud dashboard. The main purpose of this dashboard is to help clients configure their cameras for the best ALPR results. We encourage all customers who have a need for an powerful analytics dashboard or Parking Mananagement capabilities to take a look at our ALPR Dashboard.