The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is big. Twenty-five hundred square miles big. But that oily mess is out in distant ocean waters, not your backyard, making it difficult to relate to the scale of this petro-tastrophe. Helpfully, Google Earther Paul Rademacher makes it easy to imagine what the oil spill would look like in our own backyard (or anyone’s backyard) with this, ahem, slick tool.

Here, already-oily Detroit, MI, gets the spill:

Deepwater oil spill in Detroit

And here, Grist HQ in Seattle could use a little something that cuts serious grease:

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Deepwater oil spill in Seattle

Personally, zooming out to view the size of the oil spill against the rest of the state of Washington was particularly eye-boggling. And Google Earth-boggling.

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Via James Fallows of The Atlantic.