Wed. Oct 27th, 2021


Calfire workers try to keep the fire away from the St. Helena Water Treatment Plant in Napa Valley, California, during a glass fire in September 2020.

Cal Fire workers try to keep the fire away from the St. Helena Water Treatment Plant in Napa Valley, California, during a glass fire in September 2020.
Pictures: Samuel Quorum / AFP (Getty Images)

Here’s an ominous sign of the times: along with other mundane information like traffic, satellites, transit maps and tree cover, fire will now be one of the top layers of Google Maps.

Extensive Fire It destroys a large part of the United States, especially California, which currently exists 17 active fires And saw a A staggering 12.7 million acres Burning since 2012 is now so common that the word “unprecedented” no longer applies. This is true of many other regions affected by climate change and blockade development, Such as Australia, Where 2019-Dozens of people died in 20 fire seasons and as much smoke was emitted Large volcanic eruptions.

Fires can spread rapidly, and climate change could make fueled areas more devastating, such as California, where fires are consuming at a new rate. Up to 15 miles. At the same time, More people have been moved Per What is known as Wildlife-urban interface, which holds millions of people On the way to loss. The combination of these factors can be fatal.

Confusion and lack of situational awareness are the main contributing factors to casualties. In 2018 Campfire, Which Destroys the city In Paradise, California, and killing at least 86 people, authorities were slower to reach many residents than to inform them. Many in the area have received Slight advance warning The fire is going to hit the city absolutely. Accessible fire maps can be the difference between trying to escape a fire or trying to leave too late.

A Blog post, Rebecca Moore, director of Google Earth and Images, wrote that the system would use satellite data to “help people in the United States easily understand the approximate size and location of fires.” New levels, which extend over previous Google initiatives such as a “Crisis Response” website, Will link users to information about emergency services and eviction routes.

“With the wildfire layer, you can get up-to-date details about multiple fires at once, allowing you to make quick, informed decisions during times of emergency,” Moore wrote. “Just tap on a fire to see available links to resources from local governments, such as emergency websites, phone numbers for help and information, and evacuation details. When available, you can also see important details about the fire, such as its containment, how many acres have burned, and when all this information was last reported.”

According to Ars Technician, Google says data will be updated every hour and. The new Fire Layer will spread to Android this week, with iOS and desktop users getting it in October.

Google is also expanding the Tree Canopy level, which was launched last year, which Moore writes “uses aerial imagery and advanced AI capabilities to identify the location of a city at the greatest risk of experiencing rapidly rising temperatures.” This helps city planners and city officials to identify heat islands, areas that are significantly warmer than neighboring areas, with lots of concrete and asphalt and not green. This tool will now cover 100 cities worldwide, from 15.



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