Picturing the BP blob at a town near you
A clever bit of programming has provided a visual aid to illustrate the unfathomable damage being caused by the 880-fathom-deep gusher pumping untold gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
This visual aid is a customizable Google Map at a website called IfItWasMyHome.Com, which makes it possible to superimpose the latest known contours of the BP oil spill over any location in the world.
As you can see from the screenshot below, data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration currently shows the goo to be covering an area equivalent to the space bounded by New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York State.
The map was put together in an evening by Andy Linter, a software developer in Royal Oak, MI, who welcomes anyone to go to his site, move the spill over the geography of your choosing and then publish a screenshot of the result.
“The idea for the app really came from my wife, Kristen,” said Linter in an email. “She saw a picture of the oil spill overlaid on New York in the paper, and commented to me that this still didn't put things into perspective for her. That night, I created a quick image of the spill centered on our hometown. Both of us were shocked at the result, and Kristen suggested I show the picture to more people.”
It wasn’t long before the map started making its way around the Internet.
Would that BP had someone as clever as Andy Linter to cap its runaway well.