Just like everyone else over the last two months, we’ve watched the continuing oil spill in Gulf of Mexico with a sense of helplessness and despair. Not only did has this unnecessary accident taken the lives of 11 people, it continues to impact millions more. From an environmental standpoint, it it is nothing short of a complete catastrophe.
To help educate the public about this unprecedented event, we’ve decided to release a free version of our multitouch-enabled Google Map and Flickr mashup application to educational organizations such as science centers and aquariums. The Google Map and Flickr mashup combines oil spill and fishing restriction data from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) with eyewitness photographic and video accounts from the Gulf of Mexico. You can check and and join the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico Flickr group; it includes some amazing photographs of the crisis.
Here’s a video of the application in action.
The exhibit software requires a multitouch system. We are offering it for clients who have multitouch tables. We will be building a version that is optimized to work with the 3M 22″ multitouch monitor, a lower-cost system. If there is interest, we may offer a single touch version or Web version of the application later this summer. Please email us for details about this software.
The oil spill mashup application is similar to a Google Mapping and Flickr mashup exhibit that we developed for the California Science Center. In that application, we used a number of KML data overlays to show various features of the LA Basin. You can learn more about that exhibit, L.A. Zone Multitouch, Multiuser Table, on the ExhibitFiles website. That exhibit and the new Oil Spill mashup were both developed using GestureWorks multitouch software for Flash & Flex.
Finally, with reports that British Petroleum (BP) continues to try to block media coverage, we hope that this exhibit helps in some small way to better inform the public about this disaster.
Update: Some of you expressed interest in who was using the application. A number of museums contact us with interest in it including: the McWane Science Center, Trelleborg Museum (Denmark), Vancouver Aquarium, and at Petrosains, The Discovery Center (Kuala Lumpur). I know that Petrosains and the McWane Science Center used the application on the floor.