I was setting up Google Earth for my lecture/discussion on the Middle East last night and noticed a funny new icon I had not noticed before.
In Google Earth, I always click on icons I am unfamiliar with just to see what happens. Maybe not always a good idea. I trust Google explicitly, though ….
Anyway, I discovered this great new addition: Webcam.travel. People from around the world have posted geotagged webcams to Google Earth. Now, anyone from around the world can visit webcam.travel, or load up Google Earth with the Webcam.travel layer loaded and look at conditions – as they are within a few minutes – almost anywhere in the world. Man, this is awesome!
We looked at Rotterdam, the Netherlands, after taking our map quiz over Southwest Asia. Part of the webcam.travel website includes a Google Map showing the location of the webcam, giving you an idea of where you are within a city, town, village, etc. Plus, you can view the typical Google Earth satellite imagery or map layer to give you a bird’s eye view of the area you are looking at. The Rotterdam perspective seemed to be directed to the ocean; the view was brilliant, almost like the city was on fire. I thought I was looking at the fires in southern California at first, before I noticed the webcam’s title, and vicinity. The webcam captured the intense illumination in the area, bright, saturated yellows and golds of urban lights. The skies were low and overcast, giving the effect of smoke. Taken all together, the image appeared to be that of many lines of fire, when in actuality, we were looking at four-lane highways, industrial districts, and other urban features. Cool stuff!