This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Eavesdrop on the Savannah

This is jawdroppingly amazing. It's a webcam that National Geographic has set up at an extremely active watering hole in the middle of Botswana. I've been tuning into it at regular intervals and seeing the most amazing things. Right now a family of elephants is hanging out at the watering hole; the sounds of thousands of birds flutter out of my computer monitor. Check it out (requires RealPlayer).

The technical details of how they managed to set up and link a webcam in one of the most remote parts of the earth are fascinating:

"Linking the live WildCam Africa Internet video camera from one of the most remote locations in southern Africa to a satellite hovering 22,500 miles (36,200 kilometers) above the Earth's equator was the easy part. The challenge was how to keep baboons from messing with the camera, prevent insects from slithering inside the computer, and protect the whole setup from curious elephants. National Geographic spent weeks looking for someone who had done it before. Trouble was, nobody had. But Cameron Murie came close enough. "

Read more on the technical details.

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