How big is the oil spill? You don’t want to know…

05.10.2010 by André Natta · → 2 Comments

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Gulf Coast oil spill mapThat’s the question that the folks at Google decided to help people figure out. The image to your left is a screen capture from Paul Rademacher’s website and shows the spill in relation to the size of Birmingham and Central Alabama.

Rademacher’s site currently contains a Google Earth embed using the application’s API that lets you see how the oil spill compares to several major U.S. cities. Here’s a link to a screen capture of the oil spill in relation to Chicago, IL and Lake Michigan. He’s the engineering manager for Google Maps’ front end.

Visiting the site will also let you compare the size of the Deepwater oil spill to any city and points you to where you can download the data to show it in your own install of Google Earth.

UPDATE: Additional images – one showing the spill area in relation to Atlanta and Montgomery and another one showing the capture from when you first enter Birmingham, AL into the interface.

Image: Screen capture from http://paulrademacher.com/

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2 comments
Andre Natta
Andre Natta

There was a comment that was up here previously that has been removed since the contributor did not include a valid email address as stated in our terms of use. I will however answer the question stated. No, I'm not a tech person; people have labeled me as one. Yes, there are no markers included in this image except for the Alabama/Georgia state line since that would not let folks see the entire size of the spill would not be able to fit in. I will update with a link shortly that shows what the map interface shows when you first type Birmingham, AL into the page.

ArentYouSposedToBeATechPerson
ArentYouSposedToBeATechPerson

Graphical presentation rule #1. If you are going to use a map, include landmarks. This picture provides exactly zero information about the size of the spill compared to Birmingham, since there are no interstates, cities, towns, bodies of water, or even a legend with a scale on it. #imageFail