NOAA interactive map tracks Gulf oil spill

Online mapping tool allows public to follow closures, spill trajectory

The public can now track Deepwater Horizon-BP oil spill recovery data online via a near-real-time interactive map at a new Web site created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The GeoPlatform Web site, launched June 15, includes regularly updated geospatial data from several federal and state agencies on the oil spill trajectory, closed fishery areas, impact on wildlife and Gulf resources, daily position of research ships, and affected shorelines.

Data published on the site is received from NOAA, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Homeland Security Department, NASA and several states.

“This Web site provides users with an expansive, yet detailed geographic picture of what’s going on with the spill,” Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator, said in the news release June 15. “It’s a common operational picture that allows the American people to see how their government is responding to the crisis.”

NOAA worked with the University of New Hampshire's Coastal Response Research Center to develop the Web-based geospatial platform designed for federal and local response activities and adapted for public use.

A separate public Web site, Deepwater Horizon Response sponsored by federal agencies, has been operating for several weeks offering news, announcements and information about the disaster. It is operated by the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command, which consists of DHS and the Defense and Interior departments, as well as other federal agencies, BP and other private entities.

In addition, the Unified Command recently set up a Deepwater Horizon Response Facebook page that links to its other Web site.


About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Fri, Jun 18, 2010 Dave

Michael, I think it's safe to assume the real problem is stopping the leak without cutting off access to the oil... they sunk (pun intended) a lot of money drilling this well. The technologically simplest solution would be to fill it in; turning the entire project into a lost cause.

Fri, Jun 18, 2010 Michael Martinez Sunland Park, NM

If you were to establish an over size valve, to attach on one side of where the spill is being released from and the other side with a knob to close as a valve does and close the leak. Not sure what the hole looks like but would imagine that there is some way to attach to it, like weld or screw, with some type of gasket compression. Not an engineer or anything but believe the most simpliest option shoud be considered!

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