In 2012, a historian of nuclear weapons, Alex Wellerstein, decided it’s time for nuking Google Maps. While this might sound terrifying at first, it is actually quite a fun project which combines Google Maps technology with some other web technologies you might or might not be familiar with. The result is a map game which allows you to nuke any location on Earth.
Nukemap was actually created to raise awareness about nuclear bombs. Although these bombs are common things in movies, sometimes we do forget that nuclear bombs are a real thing. By creating this map mashup, Alex wanted to show people what a nuke could do to our cities and towns.
But simply nuking a location of choice wouldn’t be that fun if Alex hadn’t created a real game out of it. The rules are simple: Choose any location on Google Maps, scrutinize the list of notorious nuclear bombs, define some extra parameters and watch what would happen if a nuke went off.
Nukemap really goes into details. Some of the basic options allow you to show casualties and radioactive fallout. But if you decide to customize your bomb, you will be able to choose its physical blast force, customize ionizing radiation rings, change the amount of thermal energy the bomb produces and much more.
Once you’re done customizing the Nukemap, a detonation button will be ready for you. Will you click on it?
After detonating, not only will you see the effect on Google Maps, but you will get a detailed analysis of your mayhem.
If that’s not enough for you, you should know that nuking the Earth goes a step further. By integrating the code in Google Earth, Nukemap allows you to test the effects in three dimensions and the app even shows you a 3D mushroom cloud.
Enjoy this Google Maps game, but if you own a nuke, please don’t use it for testing purposes.