Live maps of lightning and hacking around the globe

live hacking mapI came across two fascinating live maps in the last few days: lightning strikes and hacking.

The Live Cyber Attacks map is a thing of beauty even without reference to its content – the presentation is mesmerising. The data on hacking events is collected by monitoring ‘honeypot’ computers around the World. That data is then used to create a list and a live map showing the activity. It’s nice to see that Australia sits at the bottom of the list – this is one competition we really don’t want to be winning.

lightingThe constant barrage of hacking activity does come as something of a sobering revelation. These aren’t infrequent, isolated incidents – there is a constant wash of activity. And don’t forget all this map shows is the activity on a range of honeypot systems, it’s only broadly indicative of what’s going on globally.

The second map is less pretty but equally interesting. It comes from and shows lightning strikes around the glove in real-time. The data is gathered from an array of amateur stations around the World. The hardware is relatively low-cost and anyone can sign up to become a monitoring station. Data from a strike is captured by the hardware and then transmitted to a central server where lightning strike positions are calculated and displayed. There are currently about 20 stations in Australia which seems to be plenty to capture activity.

Finally, while on the subject of beautiful and interesting maps, it’s entirely worth taking a couple of minutes to look at the Earth wind map and having a play with some of the menu settings. While the data is not quite real-time, it’s close and the presentation is utterly hypnotic.


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