With hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil being pumped into the waters just off the Louisiana coast, the first questions many ask is exactly how much is oil is in the water and how far is it spreading. Several news organizations aimed to answer those questions with interactive, multimedia packages that not only show the spread and threat of the spill, but the potential damage it can cause to the environment and nearby ecosystems.
USA Today, like many other news media, created a Flash-based interactive graphic for which the viewer the viewer can use a slider to view the timeline of the spill. The interactivity is complemented by various level of information, including existing barriers and satellite imagery.
The (UK) Guardian not only includes a map of the spill in its presentation, but also incorporates photos of the wildlife that will likely be affected. Various images of ducks, whales, and turtles can be viewed by clicking on the camera icons.
The Associated Press also includes photos in its multimedia explanation of the threat. The AP interactive includes a photo slideshow of the downed rig and various other heart-stopping photos, as well as an interactive timeline of major oil rig accidents, dating back to the 1960s.
Currently the oil spill is still spreading out of control so it is safe to say that many of the above interactives will require continual updating. It will be interesting to see how the aforementioned news media will stay abreast of an ongoing problem and keep their projects fresh with the latest information available.
Also on 10,000 Words:
• Do you have a multimedia emergency plan?
• How the internet is changing how natural disasters are covered
• How online news media covered the 2010 Winter Olympics
• Simple and interactive guides to the health-care reform bill