Maps Keep Track of Colorado Wildfires

Posted on July 5, 2012


Today, the Colorado wildfires that have swept the state for the past few weeks, some of the worst fires in Colorado history, are contained enough for some residents to return to their homes.  While it is disheartening that so many have had to evacuate due to these fires, new mapping technology has made communities better aware of the fires in their areas.  With high-tech maps from Google and Esri, community members, firefighters, and many others are now able to track the progress of these fires.  MarketMAPS  looks at how this high-tech mapping technology has the helped communities ravished by these wildfires. 


Google and Esri have both released maps of the Colorado wildfires that incorporate trusted government data, as well as constantly updated first-had accounts.

“The primary use is for residents wanting very current information on where the fire is and whether they’re going to need to evacuate or not,” said Michael Goodchild, a geographer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who has studied how residents of his own state use updating online maps during wildfires. People may use them to find the nearest shelter and to plan a driving route to their evacuation points, Goodchild said.

In California, people often rely on maps like Esri’s and Google’s even more than they rely upon official government websites. Local government servers often cannot handle the sudden surge in traffic during emergencies, making their sites slow or even nonfunctional, Goodchild told InnovationNewsDaily. Commercial servers are more robust.

Unofficial maps are updated more often because they don’t have to go through the extensive fact-checking that government and official maps do.  The Esri and Google maps of theColoradofires combine governmental and nongovernmental sources, suggesting they are balancing verified facts and fresh information.

Both maps offer a detailed look at all factors having to do with the fires.  Google’s map shows the locations of fires, how well contained different fires are, the locations of shelters for evacuees, and photos taken within the last hour.  Esri’s map shows locations of fires, burned areas, wind direction, precipitation and areas in danger, as well as tweets and YouTube videos that people have made about different locations. Besides Twitter and YouTube, the map draws its data from the same governmental sources Google uses.

High-tech, trustworthy maps, like the ones offered by Google and Esri, can help inform community members and maybe even save lives.  Having the most accurate and up-to-date information is vital for all maps.  MarketMAPS, one of the leading publishers of US maps, receives its mapping data from the top providers, ensuring detail and precision.  Our data is updated as frequently as every month or quarter, providing our clients with the most up-to-date information.  With a combination of accuracy and visual appeal, our maps are appropriate for a variety of applications in the home, classroom, or office.  Used as teaching aids, home décor, and business planning tools, maps from MArketMAPS fill almost any need.

Call MarketMAPS today and discover how our accurate maps can help fulfill your needs.

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