Where the Buoys Are…

There’s something very scifi-like about being able to access real world data and instruments through my browser. I’ve talked about computer controlled telescopes like SLOOH before and we’ve all seen the kind of satellite imagery that’s available over the web. The latter isn’t real-time, at least not for most of us, but it is cool nonetheless.

The National Buoy Data Center gives you access to near real-time information from a variety of buoys off the east and west coasts of the US and Canada as well as around the UK and parts of Europe. Want to know the wind direction, wave height, water temp or have an interest in a large number of other physical variables? Then check out this site. If you don’t happen to be online when you need the info, then use Dial-A-Buoy to get what you need.

In addition to hosting current data from this sensor net, the site also has years of historical data for those of you avid gnuplotters out there. Fun stuff.

By the way, I noticed that Canadian Moored Buoy 44142, which is supposed to be moored south of Nova Scotia, has broken loose from its mooring. Oops. My friend Jamie points out that this buoy was only deployed three days ago. Big oops.

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