There are lots of ways to measure the extent or impact of human or natural disasters but sometimes it is challenging to gain a true perspective on their scope.  The current oil spill impacting the Gulf of Mexico and the nearby coastal areas is a case in point.  Morgan Brown whose blog I follow largely for his insight into internet marketing and related topics posted an example of how web-based mapping an imaging tools can help frame events like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in terms that are familiar to us.

He points to a great Google Earth application built by Paul Rademacher that allows you to compare the spatial extent of the oil spill to a geography you are more familiar with.  For example, here is a clip from the application overlaying the spill over the area where I live – including many of my favourite fishing spots!   Give it a try.  A great example of how spatial technology can help us understand what is happening in the real world.   And hopefully in this case will galvanize us into action!