Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mapping California fires

Big fires are raging across California. It is all over the news with constant updates. It is interesting to see a number of Internet sites that have maps of the fires.

As expected, big players in mapping have those maps. ESRI's ArcGIS Explorer team posted on their blog how to view fires in ArcGIS Explorer including the sources of data. On this blog there is a comparison screenshot of current fires with ones in 2003 showing threat to areas that were spared in four years ago.

Google also has a map of fires with brief information about fires, evacuation centres, road closures, animal evacuations.

Most common source of data for the fires is MODIS, where you can get images of this year's fires and from 2003.

It is obvious that today companies like ESRI, Google and NASA can provide very useful tools for fire fighters and members of the public. Combine that with news updates and you get quite good system for tracking status of the disasters like this one.

Quick update

ESRI has published a site to support efforts in firefighthing. Site is hosted on ESRI's main site. It also includes links to maps, images, data and people affected.

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