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Webcams - or web cameras - are quite an innovative idea. At best, they contain all that is best about the internet - the ability to quickly determine what things are like in another part of the world (for, as they say, a picture tells a thousand words). At worst they can be more than annoying - when trained on someone's goldfish bowl, or some similar nondescript event. There are also variations in degree to which the picture is 'live'- some cameras update every minute if so, while others show pictures that are weeks old.

The ideal webcam for me is one that shows a regularly-updated image of a large city (or similar expansive view), with the time, date and weather report available on the same page. I don't ask for anything more - unless, perhaps it's a local radio station broadcasting on Real Audio. I don't care much for archived pictures from previous dates, or for the depiction of more mundane everyday human activities. Of course, were live video conferencing to really take off, then all this would change.

I now have a webcam for my computer, but wouldn't even consider joining the ranks of dedicated camera servers. Better to simply put up a .jpg picture of the view from my living room window - of the city skyline and much of metropolitan Sydney (see below). I have yet to test out my webcam through video conferencing, but if anyone would like to try it then please contact me.


I've had quite a bit of trouble getting representative webcam views from the major cities of the world. It isn't so much a question of availability of sites, but the speed with which links become inoperative. I guess people soon realise that providing a constantly updating live image from a site can be quite expensive and unrewarding.


Here are the major webcam sites that I've found - some feature well over 1,000 links, but don't expect them all to work! There are also some associated links that might be of interest of the more dedicated wecam viewer. Happy viewing!

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URL: http://homepages.tig.com.au/~avanstar
Alex Van Starrex