How-To Geek

WouldISurviveANuke Assesses Your Distance From Nuclear War Strike Sites

WouldISurviveANuke is a morbid Google Maps mashup that plots out the effective radius of nuclear weapons on major metropolitan areas, your distance from them, and your chances of survival.

Visit the site, plug in your zipcode, and set the parameters (how big of a nuclear weapon and how large the nearest target city needs to be) to find out if you’re in the blast radius. We plugged in a downtown address in Detroit, MI. The verdict? Neither we nor the cockroaches will be coming out alive. If you plug in a location far enough away from the direct blast radius you’ll also get a quality of life report that spells out the effects of a local nuclear strike. As far as startling anti-nuclear proliferation arguments go, WouldISurviveANuke is an effective and interactive demonstration.

Hit up the link below to try it out.

WouldISurviveANuke [via Y! Tech]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/15/11

Comments (16)

  1. lucid55

    Application predicts that the bomb would be detonated in nearest big city instead of the more military-significant area.

  2. Chronno S. Trigger

    When the US dropped nukes on Japan, they didn’t drop them on military targets. A Nuke isn’t a surgical weapon, it’s a mass destruction weapon. You don’t aim those at military targets.

  3. Silver Dragon Sys

    Luckily for me I live in the boonies so would survive their worst scenario, at least till nuclear winter came. :)

  4. Moss

    How did you happen to choose Detroit? Are your offices there? I happen to work in Dearborn where I currently am and it looks like I’m toast.

  5. Kerensky97

    The Japan strikes were to test how destructive the bomb would be, they wanted undamaged areas for testing purposes and all military targets had been firebombed to ash. Nowadays almost all primary and secondary targets are military to stop a counter strike. Large metro areas would be a tertiary target to just destroy infrastructure, but you’re in alot more danger if you’re next to an Air Force base or have a ICBM silo next to your farm.

  6. Moe

    They dropped them in cities to demonize them. If we hadn’t we would still be fighting them.

  7. Michail

    Hi! Dude! This Project is new project from Google? Or Not?

  8. Britton

    Michall, no its not. I built this site to prove my co workers wrong. We got into a nerd debate at lunch as to whether we would be fine at work if a nuke dropped. We work outside of Seattle. I went home and coded the site in about 4 days. I came into work that Friday and was like “Who is right now! bitches!”

    I actually was going to take it offline after that because the joke was over. I had accomplished my two goals. Learn google maps API / Postgis, and feel the sweet sweet glory of being right :D

    Someone suggested i post it on reddit and the site sort of exploded (no pun intended)

  9. Adamboy7

    Ha. I live in the middle of Nowheresville NJ, USA XD I was alive untill the dinosaur ending one lol. You would have to drop 15 mege tons to even begin to affect me lol. Excuse me while I get my skiing gear lol.

  10. brodiemac

    Highly inaccurate. I live in the Albany NY area and two major targets were left out that have been documented since the fall of the Soviet Union. According to this mash-up, the closest target is Springfield MA.

  11. chris

    hi. i live in ann arbor mi. (just outside the bomb in the picture) i think this is inaccurate also because if you look at a population map they would drop the bomb just north west of detroit.
    also Because all of the auto factories can still very easily be made in to military factories they would put it more towards ann arbor to get all of the factories.

  12. kevalin

    Considering the level of secondary and even tertiary damage the detonation of today’s nuclear bombs would do, not only to the targeted areas, but to the entire ecosystem, I’m not so very sure that “surviving” would be all that desirable.

    Especially considering human beings’ unfortunate tendency to respond to acts of war in much the same way they do to eating potato chips; specifically,”Nobody can eat just one”.

  13. xana452

    Living just south of Detroit, I would have thought my town would be a prime target for a large yield, because of Toledo being to the south. Turns out the Tsar Bomba wouldn’t even reach either one!

  14. Rafael

    Why would Orlando,Florida have any value as a military target. I can see Tampa, which has overseas command and control centers, but Orlando.

  15. secretxax


  16. Booobs

    this is a giant single boob… :D LOL

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