This is too cool not to share: here is a realtime map of lightning strikes. (This region is set to United States, but you can select others on the left side of the screen.) Make sure your sound is turned on too, because you can hear audible notifications when a strike is reported.
Average delay on the data being reported is only 3-5 seconds. That’s amazing.
How does this work? It’s a crowdsourced effort. You can buy a detection kit for around $400 and connect it to the Internet. Once connected, the data your station collects is available to any other station owner, and boom – you’ve got yourself a network of strike detection and data.
It’s things like this that make me just sit back, smile, and realize we’re living in a pretty amazing time.