Google Keeps Eye on BP Gulf Oil Spill with NASA Images

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Google Keeps Eye on BP Gulf Oil Spill with NASA Images

by Clint Boulton

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What Happened?

On April 20, an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which was drilling in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast. The blast and subsequent fire killed 11 rig workers, injured 17 others and caused the drilling platform to sink several days later.

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The Leak

The resulting oil leak has been catastrophic to the ecosystem and coastal fishing communities. Google has partnered with NASA to offer satellite images of the leak's slow spread across the Gulf.

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April 29

Reports of how much oil is leaking vary from 5,000 barrels to 20,000 barrels per day.

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May 9

The spill, the largest ever of its kind in the United States, has contaminated 140 miles of coastline.

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May 17

BP is trying to divert oil leaking from its Gulf of Mexico well to a ship on the surface.

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Areas at Risk

Google said this image represents areas at risk to the spill.

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MODIS Satellite Images

Google worked with NASA's MODIS (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellites on the images.

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Different Views

MODIS satellites offer multiple views of the spill from above.

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Googles Gulf Crisis Response

Google set up this Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill crisis response page, offering news, videos and updates on the disaster. PBS put out this video. PBS put out this video.

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Googles Gulf Layers

Google offers Google Earth layers of the spill, including the spread of the oil and YouTube videos of the spill, affected people and witnesses. Users can download these layers and view them in Google Earth.

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BP Backlash

The backlash against BP is nothing short of severe, including this satirical Twitter account mocking BP's public relations.

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