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Webcams

The following is a list of quality active webcams across the web. It is manually curated and only includes harrassment-free presentations. Like other Dave the Web Guy lists its purpose is to demonstrate a key function of the web proper by example.

For criteria and notes jump below. For my longer narrative about webcams and what happened to them you can click to visit my own webcam page.

Directory

Last updated 2/17/18.

List Criteria & Other Notes
  • Must be harrassment-free, no obtrusive ads or ad saturation
  • Must be demonstrably reliable in its uptime
  • Must be well-proportioned, not ugly (no over-sized cam image)
  • Must be hosted in a personal presentation (not through a proprietary streaming interface or through an enterprise effort, see below)

Some sites host multiple webcams. In these cases for sake of listing brevity I choose just one to link to and leave it to the visitor to then navigate the site to any others.

Enterprise cam sites like EarthCam do exist but I do not include cams fed from them in the listing unless they are embedded within a personally crafted presentation and abide by the criteria list. The point of this directory is to remind people of what can be done on a personal HTML canvas on the open web and generally speaking EarthCam and similar sites are a kind "Facebook for webcams" which is antithetical to this effort.

Similarly, people are able to purchase modern webcam systems such as Nest, Ring, or Canaries and in some cases make feeds from those cameras public. In the philisophical context well established at this point these are not "true" webcams and while always interesting, have equally no purpose in the listing. As above however, those who are able to successfully embed such streams into personal criteria-meeting web presentations would be exceptions.

Finally there are a class of aggregate webcam sites that stock "open" cameras as left that way by careless technical configuration. These can be interesting as well but for the same reasons as above, and with the added concern that they only exist in some cases due to careless security, they are not included in the list.

A Point About Streaming Webcams

Streaming webcams tend to be overkill. People often stream cam images because they assume "more is better" where "more" in this case refers to technical capacity and sophistication. At first blush, logically, why wouldn't you present a live realtime feed of your subject if you can? And by default, most webcam systems these days can.

For me personally the reason to stick with static images that are automatically updated once a minute or so is to spare the bandwidth. Streaming will not survive the upcoming metered web that is likely to take over which means it is better to exercise and appreciate the optimum level that an interval image provides. They are also more sustainable and cost much less to build out (a common USB camera costs less than one that streams).

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