Cloud Computing: Google Earth Crisis Response Site Tracks Gulf Oil Spill
Google Earth Tracks Gulf Oil Spill; Creates Crisis Response Site
by Clint Boulton
Deepwater Horizon Explosion
Besides killing and injuring drilling platform workers, the resulting oil spill is causing incalculable damage to marine life and threatens to pollute hundreds of miles of Gulf Coast beaches and wetlands. This shot, taken from Wikimedia Commons, spells out the disaster.
The Oil Spill Over Time
Google uses satellite imagery in Google Earth to chart the Deepwater spill's progression over a week.
Google Earth Layer Tracks the Spill
Google Earth users may turn on the Places of Interest layer in the Layers panel on the left-hand side of Google Earth, navigate to the Gulf of Mexico and click on the red icon to see the imagery.
Crisis Response Center
Google offers this Crisis Response Center to help users gather more information about the catastrophe. Note the current extent of the spill.
May 3: The Oil Slick Expands
The path of the oil spill on May 3. Note how much more concentrated it is compared to the spill path on May 5, as the oil has spread out.
May 1: Oil Spill Volume Steadily Grows
The spill's circumference is tighter still on May 1.
Fishing Shut Down
See where the U.S. Coast Guard shut down fishing, the bread and butter of many Gulf Coast families.
Points of Interest
A fourth generation shrimper based out of Venice, La. describes how he and his family lost this year's brown shrimp season due to the spill.
This NASA satellite imagery shows the first day of the spill one day after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank.
Google Grabs Wikipedia
Google overlays the Wikipedia entry on Deepwater Horizon on its Google Earth imagery of the spill.
How to Help
Here are the links to more information on the disaster, as well as how to help and send relief. This video shows a flyover of the disaster site. Users may upload their own oil spill disaster videos on YouTube from here, too.