A few weeks ago I came across the Gulf Oil Tracker Widget (below), a widget that observes the real-time spillage of oil in the Gulf. This little widget can be embedded into any website, providing a live window to the heart of the Gulf Oil Spill Crisis.
The video takes a few moments to load, but it is worth the wait. There’s another version of the widget that does not have the video. It loads more quickly and still provides useful live calculations of the spill.This widget comes via PBS and NPR.
Intrigued, I did some research to see how maps are being used in new and traditional media to describe and explain the spill. Many of the maps that I found are doing more than helping the viewer “navigate a space.” Drawing on the ideas of the landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, these maps are also “scores” that show events taking place over time. These visuals are helping us understand how the Gulf Oil Spill is unfolding over days, weeks and months.
Here are the best maps I found online:
No matter what your politics or how you feel about Rachel Maddow, you may be surprised to see how much oil production in is going on in the Gulf of Mexico right now. I was. This online video of her news feature “Map Time” features a still map that tells a riveting story.
Rachel Maddow Gulf Oil Drilling Map:
Citizen Reporting Smartphone App
This smartphone application allows anyone to post reports on the oil spill: photos, videos and field notes.
BP Oilspill Multitouch Map
Ideum application for touch tables uses a combination of existing Google maps and photos from a Flickr Group. You may start to see this in museums and science centers that have multi-touch tables.
The NASA Satellite images are sophisticated and include detailed descriptions.
New York Times
The New York Times website has maps about where oil has made landfall, effects on wildlife, live video and more.
The earliest map image is a few days old. It features overlays of NOAA oil spill forecasts, YouTube videos, emergency fishing closures, satellite imagery and more.
Have you found an interesting Gulf Oil Spill map that is not listed here? Please post it below.