A Google Earth employee has created a new plug-in that allows users to see just how massive the oil spill in the Gulf Coast has become. It takes a scaled map representation and drops a the size of the spill on top of any city.
If you dropped the spill on top of the Washington area, the following areas would be completely consumed:
- Washington, DC
- Arlington County
- Fairfax County
- Montgomery County
- Prince George's County
- Howard County
But the damage wouldn't stop with those areas. The spill would spread north of Baltimore, as far south as King George County, west into Loudoun and Prince William counties and east to parts of Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore.
By dropping the spill on top of a city, it's easier for some to understand the sheer volume of the disaster. Paul Rademacher, the plug-in creator, says it's difficult to "get a sense of the true size when it's over the ocean floor."
About 200,000 gallons of crude oil continue to spew from the bottom of the ocean daily. So far attempts by BP to plug the spill have been unsuccessful.