How big is the oil spill? See how far it would stretch in your hometown

Interactive map lets users transpose the slick to any location

Just how far does the spill from BP's Deepwater Horizon rig really go? It's easy to lose sight of the scale of the millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, but what if the source of the gusher were in your hometown? lets you see. Type in a ZIP code or city name and the interactive map relocates its oil spill graphic to that location, preserving the scale.

Andy Linter, a software developer from Royal Oak, Mich., created and maintains the site, which uses Google Maps and spill data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It also offers news items about the spill and BP's ongoing repair efforts.

“The idea for the app really came from my wife, Kristen,” Linter said in an e-mail message to the blog Reflections of a Newsosaur. “She saw a picture of the oil spill overlaid on New York in the paper, and commented to me that this still didn't put things into perspective for her. That night, I created a quick image of the spill centered on our hometown. Both of us were shocked at the result, and Kristen suggested I show the picture to more people.”

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Reader comments

Thu, Aug 26, 2010 JK NM

Re: alarmist -- But it isn't, and it wasn't.

Fri, Jul 16, 2010 alarmist

If the leak was in my hometown it would have been capped a long time ago. If the leak was in shallower water, it would have been capped a long time ago.

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