Anand Akmanchi, senior research fellow in the department of geography at the University of Pune in India has visualized fire incidents, using the technique of map animation, aiming at the development of a fire emergency management information system for Central Pune. ‘‘It all happened when I was doing my post-graduate diploma at the India Institute of Remote Sensing in Dehra Dun in 2002. We were required to do a case study for the course and I decided to take up the fire scenario in Pune, as I felt such a study could be useful later on for the city too,’’ says Akmanchi, who based his study on details provided by the Central Fire Brigade, PMC of the 1,100 fire incidents that occurred in Pune between August 2001 and February 2002, along with the road map of Pune city.
Using this data and that from GIS, Akmanchi created an animated map of Central Pune with two windows projecting the details that would make the emergency response system at a fire station more efficient. ‘‘The system can be brought into play from the time a fire station receives an emergency call. With the digital map of the area and the associated window, the personnel can track down not just the exact location of the spot, but also find out the quickest route to be taken to reach the place and the nearest hospitals in the area. All these are all plotted there,’’ explains Akmanchi.
Along with this exercise, there were interesting temporal and spatial details of fire patterns in Pune that Akmanchi discovered and documented. For instance the peak time for all kinds of fire incidents is between 11 am and noon and then again from 4 pm to 8 pm. There are very few incidences from midnight to 8 am. ‘‘It’s all related to activity patterns of the population mass,’’ says Akmanchi. Also, highly congested areas like slums seemed to be most prone to fires, with up-market localities showing a remarkably less number of fire incidences. The researcher has presented the project to the Pune fire brigade.