SpillMap is a location-based application for the Android and spillmap.org is the corresponding website. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an environmental disaster of the worst kind. Environmental effects of this oil spill are just beginning to be seen and will continue for years to come. The effects will most certainly be devastating and widespread, they will also be unpredictable and challenging to prevent or mitigate. The more observational information that is available to the clean-up effort, the more efficiently it can be performed.
Oil will wash-up on beaches in unpredictable places and have unpredictable effects. Animal species will be affected in areas yet to be identified. Appropriately, there are phone numbers to call and other methods to report observations of the impact on the environment. These existing methods are highly valuable but they suffer from two weaknesses: inaccurate locations and high "friction" to actually report the information. We sought to develop a real-time geo-aware mobile application that has minimal friction, allowing high-value reports (posts) to be made in seconds, anywhere, by anyone, anonymously. Anyone can make posts, no account is required, the application and service are free.
Our hope is that easily accessible, real-time, geo-tagged posts will make it easier for the clean-up effort to identify, respond to, and more effectively mitigate the spill effects.
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