BP-caused oilspill: map overlay lets users relate to scale

June 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm | In green, just_so, scandal | 2 Comments

I think of Canada as a pretty big place. It’s the geography, to be sure, but it must also be because there are so few people here. Take Vancouver Island: my current city, Victoria, hangs on its southernmost tip. We’ve got a few people here (350,000 in the Capital Regional District), and a few more “up island” toward the Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo. But overall, Vancouver Island seems like a vast wilderness. It’s possible to live here for decades without ever getting into its wild reaches.

Now take a look at this graphic overlay of the BP-caused oilspill in the Gulf of Mexico:

The spill covers all of Southern Vancouver Island, but that’s just a bit of it (too bad I can’t rotate the spill – it would slick most of the island): It covers Vancouver, Whistler, all of the Lower Mainland all the way to Chiliwack; it swamps the Gulf and the San Juan Islands, a huge chunk of the Georgia Strait, all of the Juan de Fuca Strait, and the entire southwestern coast of the island, including Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Oh, and the Olympic Mountains are covered, too.

Try out the map overlay for your region.

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the scale of it (see previous tweets about scope, despoliation in Nigeria, and how the current spill is scandalous but also not news …sadly).

And it’s not over.


  1. It’s revolting.

    Time to bring up corporate rights versus responsibilities. There’s too much power to pretend that the narrow view of corporate responsibility is at all valid anymore.

    Comment by Davin Greenwell — June 3, 2010 #

  2. […] need to get better at assessing environmental impact besides looking at how much map changes color. Is offshore drilling in BC worse than the Alberta tarsands? How much should I sacrifice in my […]

    Pingback by MentalPolyphonics » The Oil Spill Doesn’t Matter — June 4, 2010 #

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