Government webcams may be one of my favorite public goods. They give me access to many areas I may never be able to travel and offer me a nice, short break from work. They also hold several practical purposes, like monitoring the ice melting in the North Pole or checking if a runway is clear in rural Alaska. Below, I outlined my top ten favorite webcams operated by the government.
- National Park Service: This webcam is devoted to capturing the early lives of sled dog puppies at the Historic Park Kennels in Alaska's Denali Park and Preserve. It is probably the cutest thing you will see all day.
- NASA: The International Space Station Live Feed provides you with a ton of information about the space station and gives you an awesome view of Earth!
- Smithsonian National Zoo: The Zoo’s Panda Cam in Washington, D.C. monitors the happenings of our nation’s favorite pandas. While they mostly sleep all day, the pandas are still adorable and amusing to watch.
- NOAA: The North Pole Webcam provides a fantastic time-lapse of the ice freezing and melting, finishing with the day’s current picture.
- U.S. Forest Service: The Boundary Waters webcam in Minnesota is beautiful. I canoed the boundary waters several times and this webcam provides a pretty accurate depiction of how beautiful they are.
- U.S. Geological Survey: The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s Kilauea Volcano webcam provides several different views of the volcano. If you never get the chance to hike all the way up there, this is a great alternative!
- Federal Aviation Administration: These 150 Alaskan Webcams are spread out throughout the rural areas of Alaska and are meant to enable pilots to see if runways are clear before taking off. However, they also show some excellent views of Alaska’s wilderness.
- White House: When on air, the White House Live feed allows you to listen to the president and see what he is up to!
- Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife: This Sealcam allows you to follow the daily happenings of several seal families. They also have several other WildWatchcams, including ospreys, herons, eagles, and salmon!
- United States House of Representatives: HouseLive enables you to watch any House session and jump around between sessions. I promise it is better than CSPAN.
As a bonus, don’t forget to check out all the National Park Service webcameras! They are all interesting and beautiful.
What Do You Think?
Do you know of any other awesome government webcams to add to the list?