Websites that monitor a world full of Lightning,
Earthquakes, Ocean Buoys and more!

We've found a number of websites that collectively link to hundreds of thousands of remote monitoring devices located on every continent and in every ocean. They collect data on a wide range of natural conditions such as stream flow, water level, seismic activity, ocean currents, lightning strikes, volcanic activity, and much more. As each data point changes over time, billions of data points are being generated. These websites illustrate how massive amounts of data can be analyzed and presented in a simple and meaningful way.

Although Global Monitoring had no direct involvement with these websites, we present them here because they illustrate the type of remote monitoring technology that Global Monitoring can apply to your application.


WaterWatch is a network of thousands of remote monitoring devices that collect flow condition information along major rivers, streams and creeks in the United States. The real-time information is collected on an hourly basis and saved to a database. The WaterWatch website features a point-and-click interface allowing users to retrieve graphs of water elevation and flow and highlight locations where extreme hydrologic events, such as floods and droughts, are occurring.

Earthquake Detection and Notification

The Earthquake Hazards Program provides a world-wide view of all seismic activity in real-time. Operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), this website also monitors the activity of volcanoes in the USA.

Ocean Buoys

The NOAA Data Buoy Center collects water temperature, wind-speed, wind direction, and other real-time information from over 1200 marine buoys deployed in oceans around the world. The location of the buoys are indicated on a global map.

Lightning Strikes

The National Lightning Detection Network , operated by the Vaisala Corporation, displays recent lightning activity across the entire continental U.S. The lightning data displayed is 20 minutes delayed and updated every 20 minutes (be sure to click 'refresh' at the bottom of their web page.)

Water Quality

The Susquehanna River Basin Water Quality website displays water quality information. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) initiated the establishment of the Remote Water Quality Monitoring Network (RWQMN) in January 2010. This monitoring network continuously measures and reports water quality conditions of smaller rivers and streams located in northern tier Pennsylvania and southern tier New York. The data helps agency officials track existing water quality conditions and any changes in them on an ongoing, real-time basis.

Volcano Activity

The Alaska Volcano Observatory Alaska Volcano Observatory is a joint program of the United States Geological Survey, the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the State of Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.