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Earth The Military

Interactive Nukemap Now In 3D 192

Posted by samzenpus
from the want-to-play-a-game? dept.
Lasrick writes "The brilliant Alex Wellerstein has an interactive map that shows the effects of a variety of atomic bombs on whatever city in the world you choose (you can designate the yield or choose from a wide variety of pre-programmed yields, like Fatman, Little Boy, or what the Soviets had at time of the Cuban Missile Crisis). Compelling in a scary sort of way. A 3D version is available."
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Interactive Nukemap Now In 3D

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  • Funny game. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 21, 2013 @07:45PM (#44346325)

    The only way to win is not to play.

    • 1. USA
      2. USRR
      3. China
      4. North Korea
      5. UK
      6. France
      7. India
      8. Pakistan
      9. Israel
      10. NATO nuclear weapons sharing group

      • by styrotech (136124)

        Slightly different game, but I used to like playing as Col. Khadaffy or Kookamamie. Ronnie Raygun was fun too.

    • Fallout (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Roger W Moore (538166) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @11:44PM (#44347395) Journal

      The only way to win is not to play.

      Actually the only way to win is for nobody to play. Even if you don't play yourself the fallout from the idiot playing next door may still get you.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @07:54PM (#44346371)

    Of course the maps weren't as pretty, but this has been done to death.

    The danger of nuclear war in minuscule compared to the days when Soviets and Maoists were a threat. Now Russians and Chinese are our business partners.

    Detente worked, thanks be to Richard Nixon!

    • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @09:10PM (#44346681)

      Now Russians and Chinese are our business partners.

      So were Germans and Japanese in 1939.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        So were Germans and Japanese in 1939.

        And some multinationals continued those business relationships between 1939 and 1945, or nominally severed the relationship with their subsidiaries in those countries and then collected the profits after the war.

        Big business is only loyal to profits. Flags, ideals, countries, and people are secondary concerns at best.

        • And some multinationals continued those business relationships between 1939 and 1945, or nominally severed the relationship with their subsidiaries in those countries and then collected the profits after the war.

          And just think, without WW2, Fanta would never have been developed [wikipedia.org]! What kind of a world would that be?

      • Now Russians and Chinese are our business partners.

        So were Germans and Japanese in 1939.

        I guess that means that relationships with ideological opponents based on trade don't always work out. Well, Russia that has been reverting back to Soviet style nuclear sub and bomber patrols of NATO countries and the US, with the occasional threat of nuclear attack. China has been rapidly increasing its defense budget, is planning to build multiple aircraft carriers along with a blue water navy, is threatening its neighbors and trying to take land from them. Maybe the US shouldn't draw down its military

        • by cusco (717999)
          The US could reduce its war toy budget by 70 percent and still spend more than Russia and China combined. We could reduce it by 80 percent and still be spending far more than the next closest (Russia), to defend less than half the territory. That's only the official budget, plus there's the unconstitutional Black Budget, the alphabet soup of the intel agencies, and the several hundred thousand mercenaries that we pay for.

          The reality is that the US is not under threat of invasion from any foreign power,
      • Gee... what does that say about the US as a business partner? ;)
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Just that this time, it's you Americans who are the warmongering expansionist extremist crazy country.

        Yep, to us Europeans, you're worse than Russia and China. Combined, even.. I think only North Korea or Pakistan can still beat you. But Pakistan doesn't have a big lead on you, to be frank.

        And I'm a European who usually defends the USA by saying that one can't generalize this, since there are a lot of great people in the USA too. But honestly, that's true for Pakistan and North Korea too. It's always the fe

    • My expectations are simpler than all out war. At some point a terrorist group will manage to get their hands on a nuke. The easiest delivery method is cargo container. One day, one of our ports is going to disappear. I hope I'm wrong...
      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @09:38PM (#44346813)

        My expectations are simpler than all out war. At some point a terrorist group will manage to get their hands on a nuke. The easiest delivery method is cargo container. One day, one of our ports is going to disappear. I hope I'm wrong...

        You are wrong. The worst a terrorist is ever going to be able to do is a dirty bomb - basically a bunch of C4 next to the radioactive material. The bomb will spread radiation across one or two city blocks and that's about it.

        The reason that they will never actually detonate a real nuke is that they are complicated and extremely delicate. The shape of the bomb must be absolutely perfect and the timing of the charge detonations must be accurate to within microseconds, else nothing happens. Getting the shape right is so important that people working on at least one major nuclear programat Los Alamos had to classify all spheres, including oranges. [nuclearsecrecy.com]

        It will take the resources of a nation-state to blow up a nuke on US soil and no matter what any war-mongering politicians have said, no actual nation-state is stupid enough to do that because it means the end of that country. Not Iran, not North Korea. Not going to happen.

        • Pakistan. Should an islamic revolution take over the military, I fully expect a bomb to go "missing" only years later to be found exploded on US or European soil. Of course, not by Pakistan, but by some Islamic fuck looking to jihad himself to paradise.

          • by Khashishi (775369)

            Then why hasn't it happened already? Pakistan is already Islamic. They still pay lip service to the USA, and they won't do anything too rash.

        • The main fear for nuclear terrorism is not that they build their own bomb, but rather that they get one thru stealing/corruption/or jsut plain buying from the soviet or other state with nuclear weapon. Can you be sure that nuke from ,say , France are as secure as the US one against stealing ? Now repeat the same question with say, Pakistan or India ? That's the real deal. If nuclear terrorism ever happen, it will be that way.

          But far more likely before nuclear terrorism will be bio-chemical terrorism whi
          • The main fear for nuclear terrorism is not that they build their own bomb, but rather that they get one thru stealing/corruption/or jsut plain buying from the soviet or other state with nuclear weapon.

            That is what I was talking about. Those nukes are not designed for shipping-container delivery. So buying one on the black market isn't going to do them any good. They might get all the pieces but they won't be able to make it go boom. This isn't the kind of thing they can just MacGyver up, especially without test runs.

          • Please note that you are making assumptions on the security of US nukes.

            https://www.google.com/search?q=lost+nuclear+bombs [google.com]

        • A Little Boy design requires an artillery tube and regular explosive. It can be built from a standing start with 1940s technology and is so straightforward the Manhattan Project didn't need to test it.

          It's inefficient and unsafe but it works.

          • by delt0r (999393)
            It requires a *lot* of bomb grade material. The hardest part of making a bomb, is bomb grade material by a long shot. Microsecond timing is easy these days, your computer, cell phone and even that AVR has timing that accurate. These days once you have the material there is not much hard about a bomb. So a implosion device is almost certainly what would be used.
        • The difficulty of manufacture all great, unless terrorists steal a nuclear bomb. How much do you trust the security in Pakistan? In Israel? In Ukraine?
        • Assuming that the terrorist group is bulilding the thing yes. What about a simple purchase / theft from a nuclear state?
        • by Isca (550291)

          You are wrong. The worst a terrorist is ever going to be able to do is a dirty bomb - basically a bunch of C4 next to the radioactive material. The bomb will spread radiation across one or two city blocks and that's about it.

          The reason that they will never actually detonate a real nuke is that they are complicated and extremely delicate. The shape of the bomb must be absolutely perfect and the timing of the charge detonations must be accurate to within microseconds, else nothing happens. Getting the shape right is so important that people working on at least one major nuclear programat Los Alamos had to classify all spheres, including oranges. [nuclearsecrecy.com]

          It will take the resources of a nation-state to blow up a nuke on US soil and no matter what any war-mongering politicians have said, no actual nation-state is stupid enough to do that because it means the end of that country. Not Iran, not North Korea. Not going to happen.

          I don't know about that. Most of the problems in shaping it comes down to having the machines to craft and shape the bomb to tight tolerances. We've been able to keep the machines that can make objects and refine materials with such tolerance out of foreign states for the most part. That's what has saved us as much as anything. The math is pretty much out there in the open to a degree. With 3d printing and 3d shaping (lathes/cnc/etc) I don't think we are far from being able to shape any material into any s

        • by T.E.D. (34228)
          Yes. Because when has a country's rulers ever foolishly ensured their own regieme's destruction by helping terrorists attack the USA? Nope, that could never ever [wikipedia.org] happen
    • by epyT-R (613989)

      yes.. soon citizens from all three nations can have the oppressive, paranoid, and freedom leeching state of the soviet union, the thankless slave lifestyle of the average chinese, and the corporate greed of america, I can't wait!

    • Yeah, it worked for Germany with Russia and Britain in the early 30's.
    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      Now Russians and Chinese are our business partners.

      Hardly. The Chinese and Russians *tolerate* the US only to the extent that money makes it necessary. When money becomes a problem, things get ugly. Especially if it means the demise of your civilization. Then, leaders tend to get desperate. Case in point, DPRK however you've probably forgotten already.

  • by Riddler Sensei (979333) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @08:00PM (#44346405)

    Christ, it really puts into perspective the rate at which these things have gained destructive power since their inception. The difference between the effects of "Little Boy" and the Tsar Bomba on Hiroshima are...jarring.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      The ones they dropped on the Japanese are about the same yield as tactical warheads now. It's so much easier to destroy than it is to build.

    • As accuracy has improved there's been less pressure to compensate for missing by simply destroying more things.

    • The massive bombs are all products of the 50s and early 60s. Once the law of inverse-cube was observed with huge fucking explosions that vaporized atolls in the south Pacific, they figured out that you could make a more reliable, stable, less expensive, and far more effective small warhead in the 300 - 500 Kt range. Oh, and since we developed lifters capable of hauling those big dick nukes, we could put 3 - 10 of the smaller more effective ones on there.

      The big bombs have all been decommissioned from the

  • So outdated (Score:5, Insightful)

    by manu0601 (2221348) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @08:02PM (#44346415)
    This is so outdated; Today's significant threat to US is a 30 years old person hidden in a Moscow airport.
    • by dbIII (701233)
      He's just the messenger that's telling the people of the US what their most significant threat is.
      • You mean by following his travels? That might be OK so far, but I doubt he'll make it to Iran or North Korea.

        But since in recent years both Chinese and Russian officials have threatened nuclear attacks against the US and its armed forces, or against NATO forces as well in the case of Russia, there is some validity to that.

        • by dbIII (701233)

          You mean by following his travels?

          I'm curious, are you pretending to be stupid for a joke or do you have other reasons?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cold fjord (826450)

      No, he's just another threat. But he could make the other threats more dangerous. The US relies upon the NSA to avoid another Pearl Harbor. The information Snowden stole can show governments and organization that are adversaries of the US how to avoid or minimize the chances of detection by the NSA, and perhaps more. His four laptops of secrets are said to be extremely damaging. The revelations Snowden has made have already resulted in reports of terrorist groups changing their communications methods

      • I expect most Europeans don't want to be left out of the fun.

        Putin in nuclear threat against Europe [telegraph.co.uk]

        No Longer Unthinkable: Should US Ready For ‘Limited’ Nuclear War? [breakingdefense.com]

        Outside the US, both established and emerging nuclear powers increasingly see nuclear weapons as weapons that can be used in a controlled, limited, and strategically useful fashion, said Barry Watts, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, arguably the Pentagon’s favorite thinktank. The Cold War “firebreaks” between conventional and nuclear conflict are breaking down, he wrote in a recent report. Russia has not only developed new, relatively low-yield tactical nukes but also routinely wargamed their use to stop both NATO and Chinese conventional forces should they overrun Moscow’s feeble post-Soviet military, Watts said this morning at the headquarters of the Air Force Association. Pakistan is likewise developing tactical nukes to stop India’s much larger military. Iran seeks nuclear weapons not only to offset Israel’s but to deter and, in the last resort, fend off an American attempt to perform “regime change” in Tehran the way we did in Baghdad. The US Air Force and Navy concept of “AirSea Battle” in the Western Pacific could entail strikes on the Chinese mainland that might provoke a nuclear response.

      • Re:So outdated (Score:5, Insightful)

        by metrix007 (200091) on Monday July 22, 2013 @12:46AM (#44347609)

        You seem to of the opinion that the ends justifies the means, at least concerning the actions of the NSA.

        I don't often say this, but your opinion is flat out wrong. We have no evidence that the NSA was not abusing the information they collected without congressional oversight. We have no evidence that their intruding into the lives of citizens from the US and other countries helped stop anything.

        All we have evidence of is that the NSA lied to congress and was illegally surveying a large percentage of the world, without authorization.

        Snowden did everyone a favor, and while he should perhaps be punished, it should be with time served for having to be on the run. He did the people of the US a favor, and that is not treason or espionage.

      • Restoring the balance of power is ultimately a good thing, so yes, sweet.
        Besides, what is wrong of being a former career KGB officer? I mean, Shrub the Elder used to be the director of CIA, not just a career officer.

  • Sounds like Eric Meyer's HYDESim [meyerweb.com] from 2005 [meyerweb.com].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 21, 2013 @08:32PM (#44346527)

    Terrain effects are very important. Nagasaki is a practical example.

    What he's basically done is take the calculations form the Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer and draw circles on Google Maps. A good first step, but really, not particularly useful.

    A decent model would
    a) take into account terrain (there are all the databases, and a simple approximation for shadowing isn't all that tough. You don't need to model the shockwave over ground, for instance, but the flash is important for large yield devices.
    b) do fallout analysis based on climatological model for winds. Easily available databases (NCAR reanalysis project for instance)

  • by DG (989) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @09:14PM (#44346711) Homepage Journal

    ...and the simulation reported a 40% increase in property values inside the blast radius.

    I had no idea the sim was that accurate.

    (I kid. I kid because I love. 519 represent! )

    DG

  • by RR (64484) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @09:21PM (#44346749)

    This is a relatively boring app. It's drawing circles on Google Maps based only on estimates of yield, height, and level of destruction. I wanted to see the effects of geography and prevailing weather patterns on the distribution of destruction.

    • by Trogre (513942)

      You can click on "Fallout" to see prevailing weather patterns taken into account. Perhaps the 3D version considers land countours - I haven't tried it.

      • by Smurf (7981)

        You can click on "Fallout" to see prevailing weather patterns taken into account.

        I don't think so... In all the tests I tried, the "fallout" was always in the North-East direction.
        You can change the direction manually, but of course that's completely arbitrary unless you already know which are the "prevailing weather patterns".

        Perhaps the 3D version considers land countours - I haven't tried it.

        Maybe. But I couldn't get it to work in Safari nor in Chrome, even though I have the Google Earth plugin working quite well with both browsers.

  • Awesome (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Fieryphoenix (1161565)
    I always wanted to know just how dead I was if the local military facilities were nuked during the cold war. Now I know that I would have died in agony.
    • by Greyfox (87712)
      Not that local then? My 6th grade teacher told the class if the emergency sirens every went off for real he'd go outside and face the air base because he didn't want to survive that blast. He probably wouldn't have either way, we were pretty much right on ground zero of any potential nuking. No one was going to fucking duck and cover in that classroom.

      If you're into that sort of thing you can find some nifty footage of the old atomic blasts back in the day on youtube. They're pretty impressive. People use

      • Just local enough not to be vaporized but burned too badly to survive long.
      • by cusco (717999)
        Back when Ronny Raygun was president a friend and I were on the way home in Seattle. He turned on the radio and the Emergency Broadcast System alert was on. He pushed a button to select a different channel, which was also the EBS. I pushed another button, and we heard the EBS again. He muttered, "May as well watch Bremerton melt down," and took the next off ramp. Then the end of the test was announced, and we realized that two stations had run the test simultaneously, and I had accidentally returned th
  • People still believe a nuclear war is winnable.
  • a more accurate version of the original Nuclear War game can be done? The original version always seemed to side with Ronny Raygun.

  • I dropped one at the base of the Garrison Dam in ND - it said there'd only be 220 fatalities. In reality the destruction of a dam holding back that much water would wipe several cities off the map as the wave + flood took out city after city that was downstream...

    Who cares about blast radius estimates? We did that sort of thing when talking about nuclear weapons in 7th grade civics classes. I want something that takes secondary chain-reaction sort of damage into account, such as hitting dams, nuclear power

    • I nuked my home city with a population of 2 million. It reported 20 fatalities.

      I'm guessing it's using aggregate population density data for Australia.

    • In reality the destruction of a dam holding back that much water would wipe several cities off the map as the wave + flood took out city after city that was downstream...

      I'd be surprised if a nuke could break a dam. Aren't most dams little more than wedge shaped blocks of concrete?

  • The 3d doesn't actually add ANYTHING over a flat map, sadly. :(

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