If the Oil Spill was in Your Hometown

Two hundred thousand gallons of crude oil spilling out of the Earth per day and spreading across the ocean is hard to visualize. We don’t often run into 200,000 gallons of anything, let alone 200,000 gallons of hazardous muck spreading across something as vast as the ocean.

As of May 6, the spill had covered at least 2500 square miles of Ocean and, if you’re not in the immediate area of the Gulf Coast spill, it’s hard to imagine the magnitude of the threat. Even if you somehow manage to jump on a boat and motor on out to see, you’re only getting a limited perspective on the thing. (Keep in mind that the spill has grown almost a week ago since these graphics went live.)

Google Earth engineer Paul Rademacher has created an oil spill map overlay system to give the spill some perspective. Using this new Google Earth function, you can overlay the oil spill onto your hometown to see just how intimidating it is. Here are a few maps for you to contemplate:


Washington DC

Los Angeles

San Francisco

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