San Francisco Oil Spill in Google Earth

San Francisco Oil Spill in Google EarthThe news media is starting to catch on to using Google’s map making tools to help illustrate news which has a geospatial context. The California fires last month was the biggest recent example. Now two local news outfits have begun documenting the situation with the San Francisco oil spill by using Google Maps. The San Francisco Chronicle has pictures and video showing the oil spill’s consequences. And San Jose’s KCBS map has created a map showing the areas affected and the extent of the oil’s impact. You can view both of these maps in Google Earth together by clicking on the KML link in each map, or click here and here . I find viewing maps like this in Google Earth to be more informative since with GE you can see the 3D terrain, view multiple maps without too much clutter, and it’s faster. Hopefully more news agencies around the world will start catching on and begin using mapping tools to illustrate the news. via Google Lat Long.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. One of the ways Oil corporations convince Americans that oil is the best energy source available is by insisting that current technologies guarantee the safest, cleanest, and most secure means for drilling and transporting oil. The public relations machine run by oil companies is so smooth, it has been successful at staving off government investment in renewable energy technologies, auto industry investment in more efficient automobiles, and attempts to block drilling in America’s most serene natural habitats. Again and again we are all duped by this enormously powerful industry that acts as the perpetual victim while reaping the world’s largest revenues in history.

  2. Grammar Nazi says:

    Not to be a grammar nazi, but ‘effected’ above should be ‘affected’:
    (No need to publish this comment.)

  3. I can’t seem to locate the article now, but early yesterday morning — I read a piece that was raising awareness about the problems that the volunteers faced when trying to help. Apparently, 1500 workers from Autodesk showed-up, to find that the current protocols for volunteering in clean-up work, required an archaic system for documents, which the officials ran out of hardcopies and make documents and forms accessible online.
    If anyone can find that article, it’s an interesting read — to take note of the current disparities present between what the state and local governments have in place vs. the more progressed and user-centric functionality we have in the Web 2.0 landscape (or at least what everyone is more used to, which are just the little things that make sense).

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