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2021-06-09

Modern Wonders 2: blitzortung.org

tags: wonders



Here's another entry to the list of "Modern Wonders of our Time".


https://www.blitzortung.org


I was reminded of this wonderful project these days when rain and thunderstorms occured near my home. The project has prepared electronic kits to build stations reporting lightning events, together with GPS derived accurate time stamps. The data is collected by a central server. Software there derives the location of the events if reported by probably more than 2 or 3 stations. The results are converted into a format which can be displayed by your web browser, assuming java script is enabled.


Visit this site when you are in for a few moments of "slow thinking", enable the "Detectors" button for enhanced visual representation. Imho much better than pressing "Refresh" on any news outlet. Enjoy!



Actually, there are quite a number of Modern Wonders assembled:


GPS satellites (basically atomic clocks in orbit) and receivers the size of an old fashioned stamp.

The fact that civil usage of accurate GPS time is possible --- this has not always been the case.

The availability of modern electronic components and (more importantly!) their data sheets to many and not only big corporations.

The internet as a medium of transporting data all over the planet, and its availability to many.

Electricity, its generation for every day use and its violent forces as visible in lightning.

Lightning itself! Ok, this is a Classic Wonder, isn't it?

Freely available map data as of openstreetmap.org --- which deserves its own entry in this emerging list.

Freely available data from the archives of the project, see [a] for an example.

A group of talented people working together to create this amazing project!


Thank you!


[a] Map of Europe on blitzortung.org

Enable javascript, select 2018-08-10 0h UTC (end time) and 48 hours in a loop, and watch the show!


PS: I toyed with the idea to set up such a receiver, but there are several near by. There is no need to add another one.




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