Last week, while planning to go to El Matador in an attempt to catch the winter storm I encountered the obstacle of not knowing what the conditions would be over there, while I was over here. I had weather forecasts, but I wanted more specific knowledge and only afterward did I think that I should have checked a Malibu webcam to find out live conditions in advance of the drive. A search turned up several beach cams for various coastal areas in Southern California.
In looking around there seem to be webcams all over, making it easier to see weather conditions, visibility, and even the progression of fall foliage, or volcanic eruptions. This page is a National Park and Recreation Area webcam locator: It has links to recreation areas, volcanoes, monuments, seashores and parks.
Try this webcam in the fall for views of changing foliage from Mt. Washington in New Hampshire .
There are webcams in places that a regular Google Street View will not take you to and it seems to me that this may be an excellent way for landscape artists to check out new places to paint.
I found webcams in Alaska, New Zealand, and South Africa (always live and wild) . Not so many in China, but I'm still looking.
This seems like a useful tool not only for painters, but also for photographers, hikers, birders, and other wildlife enthusiasts, to name just a few. Have you ever used a webcam to check out a destination before a trip?