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WorldView review

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The humble webcam has something of a bad reputation these days. Many people commonly associate this ground-breaking piece of technology with the nefarious bedroom antics of the many ‘loose women’ that advertise their wares inside inner-city telephone boxes, but the more saintly members of society know that they can be put to extremely good use.

Developer Adnreas Linde is most definitely one of those people; he’s the man behind WorldView, which (as the title suggests) promises to give you an intriguing insight into the world around you via the wonder of the webcam.

The application patches into over 9000 different webcams dotted all over the globe with the vast majority being positioned in locations of particular note, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, San Francisco Bay, Honolulu’s beach and the Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

The pictures aren’t live but are updated on a regular basis – although this can vary from a few minutes to a several hours, depending on the popularity of the scene in question.

Linde himself obviously isn’t orchestrating all of these individual webcams – a Herculean task if ever there was one – but rather taking the feeds registered on http://webcams.travel/ and presenting them in a format which you can access them via your iPhone.

WorldView has other neat features, too – you can use the iPhone’s location services to pinpoint nearby webcams. You can also browse the most popular (and most recent) feeds or you can simply elect to see a completely random selection of different sites.

Should you come across a place that you’re particularly fond of, you can add it to your bookmarks for easy access later on, or even download a snapshot into your iPhone’s photo folder. And it doesn’t end there – clicking the ‘information’ icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen opens up a further menu of options.

From here you can email the web address of the webcam to a friend, gain direct access to the Webcams Travel website for data on the feed and how posted it and even pinpoint the precise location using WorldView’s built-in map.

Better still, WorldView integrates with the iPhone’s own Google Maps application which means you could use the program to locate places you’d like to visit and then plan a trip there using the Google Maps’ route-finding abilities.

Naturally, given that the developer has no control over the webcams themselves WorldView doesn’t always throw up the best images. Some of the registered webcams are bordering on being pointless, with low-quality images and less than impressive views.

We also noticed that some of the cameras had clearly not been updated in some time, yet WorldView confidently informed us that they had been refreshed a matter of minutes beforehand. Clearly there’s some mild misinformation occurring between Webcams Travel and WorldView itself.

However, for the most part the application is well worth investigating; it’s a true window on the world and as more webcams are added to the database, it will become even more absorbing.

World View Info

Ease of use: [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”thumbnail_60x60″,”fid”:”21621″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”60″,”width”:”60″}}]]
Value: [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”thumbnail_60x60″,”fid”:”21620″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”60″,”width”:”60″}}]]
Features: [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”thumbnail_60x60″,”fid”:”21621″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”60″,”width”:”60″}}]]
Overall [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”thumbnail_60x60″,”fid”:”21620″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”60″,”width”:”60″}}]]

Platform: Apple iPhone/iPod Touch

Price: Free

Developer: Andreas Linde

Website/Demo: World View website

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