The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is a massive environmental disaster that is still unfolding. But even as the catastrophe is dominating headlines across the country, it’s hard to wrap your brain around the scale of the spill. Recent reports say the oil slick now covers 2,500 square miles of ocean… but how big is that? The photos and videos coming out of the gulf don’t provide much context.
Enter Paul Rademacher, an avid Google Maps and Google Earth hacker. He’s created a devastatingly simple tool called the Gulf Coast oil spill map. It takes an outline of the oil spill, and allows you to superimpose it on other areas, including San Francisco, New York, and London.
One of the presets is Hawaii, which places the oil spill over the Big Island, which is 4,000 square miles in size. And typing “Honolulu” into the “Compare to your own city” field generates a striking view of Oahu. The gulf oil spill would easily surround the island with plenty left to spare.
Try it now. And keep in mind, at least 200,000 gallons of oil are being added to the gulf oil spill every day.
I haven’t heard someone chant “Drill, baby drill!” in a while. They must all be in the Gulf Coast volunteering in the cleanup effort.
Hat tip: @lizaronni