A collection of various GIS related links, information and other GIS blogs.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

San Diego October 2007 Fires Well, the four year anniversary of the Cedar and Paradise fires was too much of the same. At least as far as the fires go. What was quite different today from four years ago is the response (including the GIS response in some major ways). We were evacuated and came inches from loosing our home, so I wasn't as involved with the GIS response this time as I was in 2003. But that turned out to be OK since people looked at what didn't go so smoothly in 2003, learned from it, and put policies and procedures in place in case something like the Cedar fire ever happened again. No one thought it would be a mere four years later that so much of the county would be on fire. But they were ready, and things went pretty darn smoothly. Not easy - it never is, but night and day when compared with the Cedar fire response. It was a treat to see real maps on the news reports. In 2003 we saw so many county wide simplistic maps showing a big campfire image to represent where the fires were. That told the public next to nothing. Fast forward to 2007 where they were showing highly detailed maps of the latest fire perimeters and evacuation areas. How? The County EOC was staffed 24 hours a day with at least three GIS staff making maps - and a number of these were converted to PDF files and provided to the media and the public. So the news stations were showing PDF maps (exported from ArcMap) and interacting with them on large monitors. Here are a few samples - The Final Evacuation Areas map and the Final Fire Perimeter map.

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