Monday, December 16, 2019

The Long Range Missile Map

If you've ever worried about whether North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missiles have a long enough range to target your home then you might like MISSILEMAP. Alex Wellerstein's MISSILEMAP is an interactive map which allows you to view the range of different nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

If you select a country from the drop-down menu you can view a list of that country's available long range weapons. Select a missile from this list and you can view its range overlaid on top of the interactive map. This allows you to see at a glance the theoretical capabilities and accuracy of the selected missile. If you select a target for your chosen missile the map will calculate the SSPK (Single Shot Probability of Kill). This is the probability that a single launch of the chosen missile will completely destroy a given target.

You can find out more about the likely effects of the missile on your chosen target by clicking on the export to NUKEMAP button. This will open up Alex Wellerstein's NUKEMAP with your chosen weapon and target automatically loaded.

NUKEMAP is an interactive map which visualizes the effects of different sized nuclear weapons. It allows you to see the fireball, airblast and radiation fallout extents of different nuclear weapons on any location in the world. The map can also calculate the estimated number of casualties for the selected nuclear weapon on your selected target. This estimation includes the expected number of fatalities and the expected number of injuries.

Both MISSILEMAP and NUKEMAP recently switched from Google Maps to Mapbox. Alex has written up a detailed explanation of why he made this switch on Why NUKEMAP isn't on Google Maps anymore. Most map developers will probably be well aware of the main reasons given for the switch, particularly the lack of development of the Google Maps API in recent years, coupled with Google's extortionate charges for using the Google Maps API.

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