This is an incredible resource.
It shows the power of the people, well, Engineers specifically, and Open Source coupled with the Web.
It also shows how the power has shifted from governments to the people. There is no place for officialdom to hide behind the data, with holding it from the media since anyone who wants to know – here it is.
Notes about the data
The equipment to read these radiation levels are not always officially respected models with current calibration. Some of the data is being collected by home made or converted counters as detailed on this page.
About the web page
Clicking the image opens Google Earth in a new window.
If you do not have the Google Earth plugin installed, you will be prompted to install it.
You can do the usual zooming and panning within the window. Clicking on a marker will show a small graph of the relevant data graph in a pop up bubble.
There is a lot of feeds to be read so you may be told by your browser that a script is taking a long time to complete – do you want to continue to wait or cancel. If you press cancel you will of course cancel some of the feeds. Its not that long so be patient with it.
Other useful links:
Levels of Radiation Orders of Magnitude
To gauge biological effects the dose is multiplied by a ‘quality factor’ which is dependent on the type of ionising radiation. Such measurement of biological effect is called “dose equivalent” and is measured in sievert (Sv). For electron and photon radiation (e.g. gamma), 1 Gy = 1 Sv. For information on the effects of lower doses of radiation, see the article on radiation orders of magnitude.