How to track the Gulf oil spill

Web sites that visualize the progress of the spill are springing up. There's even an astronaut posting pictures of the spill from space.

The leading edge of the slick fouling the Gulf of Mexico has reached Louisiana, despite the efforts of so many people over the last two weeks to try to halt it.

The technology that contributed to this spill and that has failed so far to stop it is grist for another post -- or several posts.

In the meantime, though, if you'd like to track the progress of the spill and the clean-up, there are several Web sites showing pictures and videos of what's happening. Some of these sites also have information on ways you can help, especially if you're in the area.

- Google is aggregating pictures and graphs from several other sites -- the U.S. Coast Guard, which has been posting a daily update on the spill's trajectory from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; NASA, which is posting pictures of the spill from space; the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmental group that's posted a map of the spill that lets you filter its effects on birds, property and so on; and the state of Louisiana. You can also overlay these images and run them in Google Earth for a 3-D effect.

- Here are pictures of the spill posted by an astronaut, Soichi Noguchi, from the International Space Station. You can follow him on Twitter.

- BP and Transocean -- two of the companies implicated in the spill -- have joined with several federal agencies to create a joint information center, the Deepwater Horizon Response Web site, where you can see a picture gallery of the spill and get news and video updates on what's happening, along with links to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Traffic is brisk, according to NextGov -- as of Tuesday, there were 1.3 million page views.

Anything you'd like to add? If so, please post!

This post was originally published on


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