The goal of this visualization was to show how the town of Centralia, PA has changed over time due to an underground coal-seam fire.

Unlike a lot of my other work which utilizes almost 100% custom code, this project used mostly off-the-shelf components, customized to match Popular Science’s look and feel. I pitched additional overlays that would have shown the houses and buildings in the town disappearing over time, but the editorial staff at PopSci felt that the story had greater journalistic integrity by relying on just the aerial and satellite imagery.  I edited the images heavily to adjust for perspective differences and to bring them closer in tone.  Despite that work, I feel that the differences in light and shadow as well as the spring/winter foliage make it hard to see the buildings disappearing over time and that it would benefit from an overlay showing building locations.

This project appeared in Popular Science magazine.

Launch Centralia Viewer