Since its launch in 1998, Coastalwatch has become Australia's most popular water sports website, and is consistently ranked in the top eight sporting websites. The site displays live vision from over 90 coastal locations around Australia and overseas. It also provides daily surf reports, swell forecasting, weather information and news; as well as video, photographic and editorial content.
Coastalwatch has also developed a Coastal Conditions Monitoring System, which utilises the camera network to make a significant contribution to safer coastal use and more efficient and cost effective coastal management. To this end, Coastalwatch has partnered with Surf Life Saving Australia and Surfing Australia; and supports Volunteer Rescue organisations, community groups, and charities such as SurfAid International and the Surfrider Foundation Australia.
Coastalwatch is committed to bringing the coast to all Australians and overseas visitors, and becoming the premier reference site for all coastal user groups. With this in mind, Coastalwatch is dedicated to assisting with sound coastal zone research and management through the use of all its resources.
There is a need for timely and accurate measurement of shoreline position and beach information at locations around the World. There may also be a need to provide predictive and real-time advice on beach conditions and safety, along with a profile of conditions if an incident were to occur.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Community and Environmental Organisations
Camera Site Hardware - The cameras and associated hardware permit live streaming video from multiple locations. The camera systems can be located in surf life saving clubs, lifeguard towers, marine rescue or coast guard premises, hotels or other privately-owned buildings, and can be established in remote locations if required. The cameras are securely mounted and housed to guard against inclement weather and vandalism.
Each camera location consists of a phone line connection with an ADSL modem or Motorola wireless link, UPS backup, hub network, robotic Sony PTZ controllable camera and remote reboot/restart equipment. The Dell Optiplex computer system, Sony IP camera and modem automatically restart and reconnect to the internet if any mains power is interrupted.
In order to create a secure and efficient data environment, Coastalwatch has implemented a state of the art Virtual Private Network (VPN) and have centralised all live video streams and data information in one of Australia's largest data centres, Equinix. Sony cameras deployed by Coastalwatch at the beach and harbour locations are capable of producing TV quality broadcasts, with the only limiting factor being the speed of the telecommunications infrastructure available at telephone exchanges.
Due to the explosive growth of telecommunication infrastructure around the world, Coastalwatch continues to upgrade the quality of vision streaming over the internet, mobile phone and digital TV in order to maintain quality streaming vision for the increasing number of clients.