Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the category “Inspiration from the Visible World”

Washington WildWatchCams

Washington WildWatchCams – http://wdfw.wa.gov/wildwatch/


Links to live cams and prerecorded video of bats, bluebirds, eagles, herons, loons, martins, owls, ospreys, salmon, seals and swifts.

Alaska Fish and Game Virtual Viewing page

Alaska Fish and Game Virtual Viewing page – http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=viewing.webcams


Links to a number of government and private webcams offering views of eagles, bears, beavers, and sea lions. In addition, they also offer a webcam keeping an eye on arctic sea ice outside Barrow, Alaska.

Be sure to click all the tabs on the viewing page.

Nebraska Web Cams

Nebraska Web Cams – http://www.511.nebraska.gov/atis/html/index.html


This site first presents itself a a road map of Nebraska. You need to select “cameras” under “devices” in the left hand column. Once the camera icons are displayed, you can see traffic photos simply by mousing over a camera icon. Click on a picture for a larger version.

The City of Lincoln Nebraska has its own traffic camera network at http://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/pworks/pwcam/index.htm. This gives you a chance to view city street corners instead of highways.

Montana Web Cams

Montana Web Cams – http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/weather/rwis.shtml


The Montana traffic cams are still pictures with some looping. They can be selected three ways – from a text list, from a Google Map or from an overview page of all camera views.

Idaho Traffic Cams

Idaho Traffic Cams – http://lb.511.idaho.gov/idlb/cameras/routeselect.jsf?view=state&text=m&textOnly=false


Idaho offers a clickable map offering still photos of sections of highways. The site lets you select close up maps by:

  • Region – North Idaho, Central Idaho, Southwest Idaho, Southeast Idaho,
  • Locality -Boise, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho Falls/Pocatello, Lewiston, Sun Valley/Ketchum, Twin Falls



California Traffic Cams

California Traffic Cams – http://video.dot.ca.gov


The following areas are covered by freeway video cameras:

  • Atascadero
  • Central California Traffic Cameras
  • Los Angeles
  • Monterrey
  • Northeastern California
  • Northwestern California
  • Orange County
  • Paso Robles
  • Pismo Beach
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernadino
  • San Bernardino and Riverside Counties
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Barbara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Stockton
  • Tahoe Area

The cameras are a mix of video and still photos.

British Columbia (Canada) Traffic Cameras

British Columbia (Canada) Traffic Cameras – http://images.drivebc.ca/bchighwaycam/pub/html/www/index-Northern.html



The traffic cameras in this province are organized by region – (NR-Northern Region; SIR-Southern Interior Region; LM-Lower Mainland; VI-Vancouver Island; Brdr-Border Cams; All-All cams). They also have a feature called “My Cams” which allows you to build a customized list of cameras. Views are still photos.


U.S. Government Photos and Images

U.S. Government Photos and Images  – https://search.usa.gov/search/images?affiliate=usagov&query=


This page is a clearinghouse for photo libraries across the federal government. In many cases, photos from these libraries can be used freely, but check the photo pages carefully. This site is divided into the following topics:

  • Defense and International Relations
  • Environment, Energy, and Agriculture
  • General Government
  • Health and Nutrition
  • History, Arts, and Culture
  • Money and Taxes
  • Public Safety and Law
  • Science and Technology

Some of the more notable libraries linked from here include:

National Park Service Webcams

National Park Service Webcams – http://www.nps.gov/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm


Simple list of national parks with webcams. Focus is on scenery in addition to wildlife.

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