Visualize the oil spill over your house

Another way to see how far the Gulf oil has spread.

Click here and you get an interactive Google map that lets you move the spill anywhere in the world so you can see how big it has become. You can visualize it by satellite or by terrain or on a conventional map.

The spill data is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is now posting the latest federal data on the spill every day, along with updates on the clean-up, the impact on wildlife, the latest fishing closures and the projected trajectory of the oil.

Last week, the federal government doubled its estimate of how much oil has been spilled, according to ProPublica -- PBS News Hour's Gulf Oil Tracker today reports the spill at nearly 76.9 million gallons.

I put the spill over Silicon Valley and it stretches from the Pacific Ocean to Nevada, also from Santa Rosa (120 miles north of me) to Gonzales (nearly 80 miles south).

So sad. The map's Web site, ifitwasmyhome.com, notes that this is BP's third serious oil incident in the U.S. in the last five years -- it's counting the Texas City refinery explosion in 2005 and the Prudhoe Bay oil spill in Alaska in 2006.

BP chief Tony Hayward said today in testimony for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that the spill "should never have happened" and that he is "deeply sorry" and "personally devastated" by the deaths of the 11 men caught in the explosion of the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which set off the leak.

The committee's hearing on the spill is still going on -- you can watch it here.

(The picture, from NASA, was taken on June 12).

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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