The things you can learn about at your local library!
How big was the radiation cloud over Chernobyl, really? Sometimes a visual helps put things into perspective. Imagine the 2010 flooding in Pakistan laid out across the Midwest, or the Great Library of Alexandria sprawled on top of your local library.
A prototype developed for the BBC called Dimensions allows you to overlay noteworthy places, events, and objects onto the location of your choice. It has several options within nine categories: The War on Terror, Space, Depths, Ancient Worlds, Environmental Disasters, Festivals and Spectacles, The Industrial Age, WWII - Battle of Britain (it's the BBC, remember), and Cities in History. Simply pick the one you want and enter in a zip code or street address.
Check out http://www.howbigreally.com to compare the scale of the Roman Colosseum to your neighborhood. I can't wait to show a NASA fan I know what the International Space Station looks like when it's centered over his house!
Try it and let me know what you think.
PS - Hats off to Heather for introducing me to this cool new learning tool!