While the Bay Area is no strangers to oil and fuel slicks killing wildlife, fouling waterways and spoiling beaches, a map illustrating the size of the spill in relation to the region puts the the scale of the Gulf tragedy in sad perspective.
Google engineer Paul Rademacher has built a Google Earth tool that allows users to compare the area of the spill to major metropolitan areas around the world.
It helps the scope of the disaster hit home -- had it happened here, it would have been the worst disaster in the region's history, dwarfing any earthquake.
The spill is still growing and spreading east, with BP's efforts to contain it so far proving futile.
Thankfully for our region, the likelihood of a similar spill happening here are slim, especially since Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger reconsidered his former support for offshore drilling in California.
But that it happened anywhere is still an immeasurable tragedy.
Jackson West wants to cry just thinking about it.