Watching things move around the world

I have a few favourite sites that provide the ability to watch things moving or happening around the world, in real time. Here they are as a simple list, that I’m sure will grow (GPS satellites and the International Space Station – ISS – come to mind):


Watch lightning strike as it happens. You can also get involved by building your own lightning receiver and plugging it into the detection network.

Okay, this is not strictly about transport, but it is my favourite of the three. By bringing up the lightning and flight pages together, you can spot the flights that make a detour to avoid the rough journey.

If you want to get involved in triangulating the strikes by running a receiver, you can start right here. Participants get access to the raw data in exchange, so if meteorological research is your field, it may be an invaluable resource.

Planes In the Air (no snakes)

Planes tracked around the world, as they move. Zoom in and you can see just how fast they are moving:

See the planes lined up, taking off and landing at LHR:,-0.451936,14

Planes In Flight

Planes over Europe. This is just a small number in the air on 19 August. See also the clear skies over Ukraine after the bringing down of flight MH17.

A similar thing, and an interesting live documentary well worth watching, from The Guardian:

Moving by Sea

The boats and ships out there:

You can trace the routes back to their source, and get a good history and pictures of many of the ships that are tracked.

Boats around the UK


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