The poetry of webcams

When I first started out on the web, around 1995, I thought web cams were marvellous. They’ve kind of fallen off my radar since (maybe they’ve been made a bit grubby). I was playing around with Google Desktop today and one of the widgets you could add was one that cycles through webcam shots from around the world, which you can then call up. I spent an hour or so looking at these, and there is still a thrill at being able to take control of a camera on the other side of the world and turn it to look down the street.

It strikes me that a better writer than I could make something quite moving from the following scenes I observed:

  • A single fishing boat putting out to sea from an Italian port
  • Cars coming home along the sea front in Japan
  • A solitary car driving through the middle of the night in Iowa
  • The trees rustling on a campus in Virginia
  • A car parked in the rain by a river in New England

Interesting the way that the subscription model and Google Desktop has reawakened my interest in this ‘old’ technology.

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