The national coronavirus curfew came into effect on January 23, and search engine Google immediately reported a significant increase in the number of ”webcam” searches.
Curfew in the Netherlands
In the ongoing fight against the coronavirus the Netherlands is currently under a curfew. From 9:00 until 4:30 CET (9 pm until 4:30 am) nobody is allowed to be outside. There are a few exceptions, such as essential personnel (law enforcement, medical workers, et cetera). People may also walk their dogs. But for the most part you’ll see the streets and squares of Amsterdam emptier than you’ll ever get to see them in person.
Rise in Google searches for webcams
The 9pm to 4.30am curfew left streets across the Netherlands almost deserted. During the first Dutch curfew since the second world war, with all shops and businesses closed, the only people out after 9 pm are those working in crucial functions going to work or home after work or walking their dog.
This situation of empty and quiet streets apparently left many curious as to what cities in the Netherlands looked like when no one was around. Data from Google revealed that searches for the word “webcam” increased tenfold at 9pm on January 23 in comparison to the days leading up to the curfew.
Dutch live-stream site welcomes increased traffic
Webcam.nl is a site that offers members of the public to buy webcams and security cameras, but also gives them the chance to watch live streams of sites across the Netherlands that also reported increased traffic.
Webcam.nl’s manager Peter Austin notes that he has seen site traffic increase over the past year, suggesting that people use webcams as a “virtual window” while they are stuck at home throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Webcams showing streams of Dam Square, Zaanse Schans and other popular – and typically overcrowded – sites are proving particularly popular.
AMSTERDAM DAM SQUARE LIVE STREAM
One of the most popular live streams covers the famous Dam square.vThe Dam1 is named after a dam in the river Amstel. Among other things you’ll see the Royal Palace, the monument honoring those who died during WW II, the ‘New Church,’ and the iconic Bijenkorf warehouse. As for the New Church, check out how to tell apart Amsterdam’s Old Side and the (older) New Side.
WEBCAM: DAMRAK AND AMSTERDAM STOCK EXCHANGE
The Amsterdam Stock Exchange (AEX), now known as Euronext Amsterdam, is the world’s oldest stock exchange still in use today.
It was set up in 1602, after the establishment of the Dutch East India Company.
This live webcam shows the current stock exchange building at Beursplein. (‘beurs’ = bourse) Also shown is the Bijenkorf warehouse, and a portion on Damrak — the main street between Amsterdam Central Station and Dam Square.
AMSTERDAM RIVER IJ AND CENTRAL STATION WEBCAM
Another popular livestream webcam shows alternating views of Amsterdam’s waterfront — the river IJ, the PTA cruise ship terminal, and Amsterdam Central Station.
WEBCAM: SINGEL CANAL
The Singel Hotel‘s live webcam shows a section of the Singel canal at which it is located.
HAARLEM GROTE MARKT
Check yourself what’s up on the Grote Markt in Haarlem right now!
ZAANSE SCHANS WINDMILLS AND OPEN AIR MUSEUM VILLAGE LIVE STREAM
Just outside Amsterdam is de Zaanse Schans tourist attraction: an open air museum village with a row of working windmills.
This is a living village. The distinctive green, wooden 18th and 19th century houses are occupied. (Imagine having 6000+ tourists a day trying to peer into your living room). You can visit the windmills to see how mustard seeds are ground, how pain pigments are produced, or how logs are sawn utilizing wind power. Elsewhere in the village you can see blocks of wood transformed into clogs.