This is all sorts of twisted, but a new interactive map allows users to drop a nuclear bomb on any location of their choosing. The results, which are shown in Google Earth generated maps, are truly horrifying.
Called NUKEMAP3D, users can select a city, the size of the bomb in kilotons (the app also provides a number of presets, including the 100 mt Tsar Bomba), and the viewing location (e.g., ground height, airplane height, etc). The program then uses Google Earth to simulate the unfortunate event.
The simulator was developed by Alex Wellerstein, an Associate Historian specializing in nuclear weapons and nuclear secrecy at the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics. The new program is an improvement on his 2D simulator.
'Tsar Bomba' if dropped on Chicago.
A conventional 340 kt B-61 bomb if dropped on Toronto
Wellerstein's website is down for the count, likely a result of all the attention. But Polygon managed to grab some quotes while it was still up:
"But the other NUKEMAP is something entirely new," Wellerstein wrote. "Entirely different. Something, arguably, without as much historical precedent — because people today have more calculation and visualization power at their fingertips than ever before. It's one thing for people to have the tools to map the bomb in two dimensions. There were, of course, even websites before the NUKEMAP that allowed you to do that to one degree or another. But I've found that, even as much as something like the NUKEMAP allows you to visualize the effects of the bomb on places you know, there was something still missing. People, myself included, were still having trouble wrapping their heads around what it would really look like for something like this to happen. And while thinking about ways to address this, I stumbled across a new approach."
More at Nuclearsecrecy.