Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Two more days of fire mapping

Another day (or two) and another fire map (or three).

Tuesday I spent the day searching official data on where fires have been burning in Central Texas. I wanted outlines or addresses, something better than the dots the Texas Forest Services provides, or than the InciWeb data I wrote about the other day.

I spent the most time working with the USDA Forest Services's Remote Sensing Applications Center site, working with the Current Large Incident data. What was really nice about this was I could download the KML directly from them and load it into Fusion Tables. The result was this map of fire centerpoints which gives the scope of the large fires, but misses some others that were important to our area, like the Steiner Ranch fire. Even though our fire officials said it was a 162-acre fire, it didn't show up even though they are supposed to show fires over 100 acres. The other issue is the map doesn't update on it's own. Pity.

Of course, about the time I did that, someone pointed us to this Google Crisis Center map, which does update as more data becomes available, so that is nice. I like the Red Cross shelters, too, though I could've figured that out.

But today, we finally got some official releases of damaged houses from Bastrop County. I had hopes we could just upload the addresses into Fusion Tables, but as usually some of the addresses didn't map well. Mockingbird Ln addresses ended up on Mockingbird Hill several miles away, and some county roads didn't do well, either.

I put the address list into ArcGIS and geocoded them there, and got better results on all but three addresses. I ended up just hand-plotting those based on the maps from Bastrop County and publishing a map here.

1 comments: 10:37 AM  

Do you have a URL for the fire perimeter GIS data ( feature class, shapefile, kmz)?

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