Some say the National Park’s are America’s best idea yet. But some of the most awesome ones are so far to reach, requiring extensive vacation time, and lots of gas or plane tickets.
Old Faithful in January
For some years, the National Park Service has given the curious around the world a view into park’s with Webcams. This is especially useful for looking at, say winter condition in places that would normally require many miles of travel on closed roads to reach, like in the Alaska or the mountains of the Northwest, for example.
But nowadays the NPS is offering more—air quality conditions accompany some of the images. So not only are images of America’s most scenic locales available, but you can track the air quality—or the decline thereof—online.
That’s in addition to some perennial favorites like the Yellowstone National Park Old Faithful Webcam, where it’s awful cold this time of year and there's even data about when to expect the next eruption.
But at select sites—including some big time favorites like Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Mt. Ranier, the Great Smokies, Acadia and even the monuments of Washington, D.C., the Webcams are accompanied by plenty of data—the weather, ozone levels, particulate levels, sulfur dioxide levels plus links to additional features like 10-day graphs.
It shows, among other things, that even our most supposedly pristine places are not immune from the effects of power plants, vehicles and other pollution sources.
So, take a look at the special air-quality section of the NPS Web presence at http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/webcams/
That’s just a taste of all that’s available from the sites of the hundreds of NPS units. Most parks have several Webcams, links to select Webcams from other parks, tons of data on natural and cultural history, links to blogs and social media pages and more.
If you’re at your desk and miss some of the fresh air of nature, these resources at can provide hours of distractions.
And all of it adds up to the Government Video Website of the Week!
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