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World’s lightning strikes mapped live

Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very enlightening for me - thanks to the real time lightning strike mapper Blitzortung.

Created by German open-data trail blazers Egon Wanke and Tobias Volgnandt, Blitzortung presents users with real time maps of storm activity over several of the world's major continents - Europe, Oceania, North America, South America and Asia.

Upon your first visit, not a lot will appear to be happening - until a repetitive 'click' sound sparks fresh white marks on the map. This comparatively tiny sound indicates a discharge of lightning, detected by one of 800 detectors run by a community of meteorologists plugged up to Blitzortung's network. As the minutes pass, you can watch a storm's progress over a continent with better accuracy than your last Amazon order.

Wanke (stop sniggering) started the initiative two years ago in an attempt to liberate storm data collected by commercial companies and sold for large, inhibitive fees. With an ever-expanding network of home-made sensors (you can buy the kit from Blitzortung for around £160), the group is gaining increasing amounts of data and providing more detailed real time reports.

For information on how to get involved, or just to become hypnotised by the live storms sweeping across the globe, head over to the Blitzortung site.

(Images: Rex; Blitzortung)

[Via: Wired.co.uk]