Australia – Pitney Bowes Software Inc., the maker of MapInfo, has launched a beta version of a new Web application that alerts visitors with up-to-the-minute information about wildfires. FireLocator – which can be accessed at www.firelocator.net – was built using MapInfo analytic tools and Microsoft Silverlight on top of Microsoft Virtual Earth. The application doesn’t support data analysis. Instead, it is designed for information delivery. Users can enter an address to search for or can pan, zoom in and zoom out on the Virtual Earth globe.
You can also turn the provided data layers on and off. Current data layers include:
• Fire boundaries from Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination (GeoMAC).
• NASA thermal satellite data.
• California wildfire risk zones.
• U.S. Department of Agriculture aerial thermal images.
• Data from the Incident Information System.
• Local news from the San Bernardino Sun.
• Citizen provided information from Flikr.
FireLocator allows site visitors to enter a location such as a street address, neighborhood or even area of interest and view on the map any data about nearby wildfires. With wildfire data from Pitney Bowes’ Insurance Risk Data Suite, FireLocator creates a thematic map that rates areas of California as low, medium or high for potential wildfire risk.
Users can get information about specific current or previous fires, including amount of containment and causes, if known.