Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tracking Wildfires and Hurricanes

It seems wildfire and hurricane season is upon us once again. In California the Lockheed Fire has burned over 7,000 acres in Santa Cruz County and Hurricane Bill, the first official hurricane of the season, yesterday strengthened into a Category 3 storm with top winds near 125 miles per hour.

Google Maps are being used to track both the Lockheed Fire and Hurricane Bill.

Fire Tracking Maps

Enplan Wildfire Viewer

The Enplan Wildfire Viewer is a Google Maps mashup that shows the locations of Californian wildfires. All fire information on the map updated hourly.

Fires are shown where MODIS satellites have detected heat from wildfires, prescribed or agricultural burning, and other fires. Clicking on a fire marker reveals the date and time of detection of the fire.

The USDA MODIS Active Fire Mapping Program
The USDA provide a kml, that can be viewed in Google Earth. The kml displays the MODIS fire detections at a spatial resolution of 1km for the past 12 hours, 12-24 hours and the previous 6 day period.

Lockheed Fire Map

The Santa Cruz Sentinel has created a Google My Map of the Lockheed Fire. As well as showing the fire boundaries the map shows the location of road blocks, evacuation centres and links to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection incident page.

Hurricane Tracking Maps

Ibiseye use Google Maps to show the location of Hurricane Bill. One very useful feature of Ibiseye is that users are able to click on points along the projected path of the hurricane and find out how close it will be, at that point, to the nearest towns and cities.


StormAdvisory use Google Maps to show the track and projected track of hurricanes. The map currently shows Hurricane Bill as an H4 category storm.

Wundermap are also using Google Maps to show the path of Hurricane Bill. The Wundermap allows the user to view the latest fire satellite data on the same map.
The Central Florida Hurricane Centre is tracking Hurricane Bill. Clicking on points along the trail of the hurricane reveals wind speed, movement and pressure data.


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