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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Webcam Fun at Opentopia.com


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I was watching the Rocketboom ver. 2.0 video blog or Vodcast on August 22, 2006 and they mentioned a wonderful new site, for those interested in finding webcams, called Opentopia.com.

Opentopia is more than just a free web cam directory. Opentopia is also a free online encyclopedia, a collection of a large number of organized weblinks, and a free newslink service.

But I am excited about the webcam serice which allows you to view blocks of webcams either randomly, by most often viewed, by popularity (viewer rating), or a selection of the newest webcams added. You can select these by locale (country or U.S. State), or from all the webcams in its database.

As of today, it lists 1,358 webcams in its database which is taken mostly from public databases. If you have a webcam that you would like to register you might email the Optopia.com Webmaster at webmaster@opentopia.com.

They also feature neat sunlight maps which change as the sun moves so that you can use them to figure out where you might be able to see something when you are looking for webcams to view.

Like them, I have assumed that if webcams are out there publicly with no restraint, they are meant to be viewed by the public and so I have used some examples from the Opentopia site.
My examples, however, will not stay the most popular, or whatever, so you should bookmark their site and go to them to find sites of interest.

If they complain, I will be happy to remove any portion of the images they like. However, since they boast 3,000+ images, I find this unlikely.

As of 3/23/2006

If you hover one of the images, you may, depending on the webcam, see descriptive text telling you where it comes from. Double-click on the small image to go to a page that brings up what the cam is actually feeding.


I have included a smaller block of higher rated webcams, I hope cutting out some of those above. One of my favorites is the hairpin turn below in Slovenia.


When you double-click on the web cam image, you see real-time traffic around the curve. Trucks have an interesting time on the curve and I will try to get in a better shot when I can.


I found that of the 656 USA websites the 10 Illinois websites were slim pickings. I know that there are a bunch of interesting traffic cams and the like, so I guess those who live here will have to do our dute and send them in to opentopia. The ones that cover downtown traffic and Lake Michigan vistas are particularly fetching. Though some of these may be of interest to you.
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In the mean time, go to the Opentopia.com website and have a little fun.

You'll be glad you did.

And if you have friends visiting a place where one of these webcams is, why not pre-arrange a web-shot with them? The ultimate in vacation photos. Especially if its a surprise!

"Hey, John, got a surprise for you, go to www.... Don't argue, just do it. Okay, see that guy waving? Right, the guy about to be mugged? Hey, that's me!!!! Quick get a few screenshots for the Policia!"



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