Monday, February 09, 2009

Google tracks Victorian Fires

Whereas part of Australia is really going down under in heavy rainfalls and floods, other parts have suffered immensely under strong winds and extremely high temperatures. The south eastern province of Victoria has been devastated by immense forest fires, which seem to go on and on. Fortunately the temperatures and wind have dropped a little, but firemen still can't control the infernos.

Yesterday a team from Google Australia made up a flash map of the area to track the fires. On the official Google Australia blog they write:

We've today pulled together a Flash Map, containing the latest up-to-date information about fire locations and their status from the Country Fire Authority (CFA). The Flash Map is updated in real-time from the CFA website via an RSS feed. We hope that it's of some use to people who may be affected, to emergency services personnel, and that it takes some load off other websites which are being inundated. The map certainly makes the scale of this disaster immediately apparent.

Update at 6:10pm Victoria time: To explain the map, the number in each marker shows the number of fires at the location. A green marker means the area is called "safe" by the CFA. Yellow means "controlled". Orange means "contained". Red means "going".

To view the map of the Victorian fires: here.

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