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Future Tech: 

Strangely hypnotic live maps

Warning: We’ve just lost two days staring blankly at the live maps we’re about to present to you. They might not be the most useful maps you’ve ever looked at, but we guarantee they’ll be the most relaxing.

1. Smartmine Whale Tracker

Whales body

With the Smartmine Whale Tracker you can actually watch the huge sea creatures migrating around the Hawaiian Islands. Well, you can’t see the actual whales, you see blue markers moving around the sea with red tracks. You also get live ocean and wind currents, and it’s all put together by a team of developers at GeoEngineers. The whale tracking is based on data collected by Robin Baird of Cascadia Research, while the current data comes from NOAA’s OSCAR project.

2. Live London Underground Map

Tube map body

Created over just one weekend four years ago by programmer Matthew Somerville, the Live London Underground Map uses date from Transport for London to show the position of the UK capital’s subway trains – which carry over one billion passengers per year across 11 lines – in real time. Clicking on one brings up a box telling you which station it last left, its next stop and how long it’ll take to get there. It may not be particularly useful, but it certainly is mesmerizing.

3. NASA ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment

Nasa Live Earth body

The most zoomed-out map of all, the NASA ISS HD Earth feed offers HD live-streaming views of our glorious planet from the International Space Station. As well as showing off the world, it will help NASA in testing cameras in the vacuum of space. As we write, with it only being launched two days ago, it’s been viewed by over 10 million people and has 26,166 followers.

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