Posts tagged colorado
Join our Preferred Consultant, Russell Deffner on Friday, September 9th at 11:50am for a 40 minute workshop introduction to OpenStreetMap and Depiction. Hurricane Coast, VP of Sales and Marketing, and avid OpensStreetMapper will be there too!
We’ll work with the audience to create ‘what if’ simulations, table top exercises and demo new tools available with the latest release! Tickets are almost sold out, so be sure to register soon!
The entire weekend is chock full of fun map related events, talks and workshops with over 250 attendees from around the world. Check out the schedule for September 9-11.
OpenStreetMap is an integral part of Depiction. Using free, open source software is vital to our business. Plus, OpenStreetMap data is the most current, up-to-date available for both vector and road data. Come join us at the greatest gathering of open source map enthusiasts and learn how it can benefit your business or cause!
See you in Denver!
We put this one up a while ago, but I have neglected to put it on the blog until now. And while I’m at it, here’s the video from today’s very useful webinar “Depicting the Fourmile Fire”. Lots of very practical tips and tricks on how to creatively obtain or create visualizations for disasters–and potentially other events as well.http://www.depiction.com/files/videos/110410DepictingtheFourmileFire.flv
This week’s “Depiction of the Week” was not built by me. This was put together by Depiction Preferred Consultant and emergency volunteer Russell Deffner. In the guest post below, Russell details the story of how he put the depiction together. For more on this, and how the depiction was used, he’ll be presenting “Depicting the Fourmile Fire” on next Thursday, November 4.
On September 6, 2010, around 10 AM, a fire was reported in the 7100 block of Fourmile Canyon Drive, west of Boulder, Colorado. By about noon that Monday–Labor Day–it was clear this fire was dangerous. We get quite a bit of wildfire in Colorado, but when the local news starts breaking into normal television programming, you know that it isn’t the typical isolated fire in the wilderness; it’s either big, near homes, or both. For many reasons, I wanted a better visual of the incident than I could get by just watching the news. As a Depiction Preferred Consultant, a freelance journalist, a volunteer wildland firefighter, and the volunteer GIS specialist for the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter, I began depicting the incident as it unfolded.
The first size up to be reported on the news was at about 2 PM and it was estimated to be 200 acres. From my experience as a wildland firefighter I knew two things: first, that’s a good size for only 4 hours of burn time, and second, from the video taken by the news helicopter, it was clearly much bigger than that. About two hours later my suspicion was confirmed when the news reported the size estimate at 2200 acres.
In this depiction you can view my use of the plume element to roughly estimate the fire perimeter around this time. There are three estimates conveniently packaged in a Revealer. I soon learned that the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management was releasing information fairly rapidly on their website (which turned out to be quicker and more accurate than the local news channels) and that is where the majority of the data in this depiction came from.
Although originally I had not built this depiction with any particular use in mind, it turned out to be extremely beneficial to various groups within the Red Cross as a common operating picture. As this fire continued, many people were tragically displaced from the area (grey shaded area) and needed shelter; at one point an area inside the Boulder city limits was put on notice (the red shaded area) because a high wind warning created the potential for the fire to spread into the city. Though they have been removed from this depiction (to respect privacy), I was able to quickly add, by importing a spreadsheet, all the Red Cross shelters in and around Boulder in preparation, because the potential evacuation zone would have created roughly 30,000 additional evacuees. Luckily the fireline held and the evacuation inside city limits never happened.
Unfortunately the Fourmile fire, as it was named, eventually became the most destructive fire in Colorado history in in terms of the number structures, mostly homes, that it consumed. Inside another revealer you will find 169 red dots and 25 blue dots: it’s rather upsetting to see all the red dots, as they are the structures that were destroyed, the blue being those damaged. This information was useful to the disaster assessment folks at the Red Cross in planning the long process of helping the affected people and the communities recover.
This depiction varies slightly from the original. I have added some additional information that slipped by me in the heat of the moment, such as the airport from which the air support was operating, as well as some various community resources: the justice center, library, Humane Society, etc. that played a role in the incident. I have also removed some information (mainly addresses and shelters) to protect privacy. Lastly GeoEye, a satellite imagery company released a free high resolution satellite image of the Gold Hill area after the fire, of which a part has been added, in yet another revealer, so you can compare the scene before and after the devastation.
My heart goes out to anyone affected by wildfire and I mean no disrespect by depicting this tragic scenario. It is my belief that by sharing this depiction others will be better prepared to create a common operating picture that assists in all phases of a disaster – mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. I am honored that this depiction has assisted in this incident and has generated such response. I am also amazed that, nearly two months later, the shelf-life has yet to run out. People involved in the recovery process are still showing interest in using it. That is why I offer it for anyone to view, use, expand upon and learn from; happy depicting!
One of our new users, Russell Deffner, also happens to be a writer with a GIS-related minor. He wrote the following article for The Flume, his local paper in Park County, Colorado. The paper recently published an article he wrote about a new state park being developed in the area. A PDF of the article is attached. Images Russell created with Depiction are excerpted below.
Thanks for sharing, Russell, and a fine use for Depiction!
The article: Staunton0001