Since the Deep Water Horizon oil spill started on April 20, as many as 210,000 gallons of oil per day has polluted the Gulf of Mexico. The New York Times has an interactive map tracking the spread of the oil by day. Click play on the map to watch the oil spread.
Google has also added imagery to Google Earth with which you can view the expanse of the oil on the water. You can access that Google Earth file here. Turn on the “explore the oceans” layer built into Google Earth to learn about the environmental features potentially affected by the oil spill.
Applications for Education
These maps could be a good complement to news articles your students read or new videos your students watch about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The maps provide nice visual aids that will help students realize how massive this oil spill is.