Thursday, February 16, 2017

Port Hills Fire in New Zealand

Here in New Zealand we have had a few especially strong wildfire events. One, the Port Hills fire burned in the wildland urban interface and led to damaged structures and evacuations. This is common in the US and Australia but much less so here in the more temperate and moisture rich islands. 

As such, fire and emergency management agencies are only just beginning to realize the importance of public information maps in these situations. Fortunately, Canterbury Maps, the GIS Team at Environment Canterbury were able to step in on their first day of activation and stand up a Public Information Map for the community. They did this using WebGIS via ArcGIS Online. This map is cloud-hosted and able to handle the heavy load of viewers in emergency situations. 

Radio New Zealand was the first to pick this map up and share authoritative information in an article and they deserve recognition as well. Well done to all involved - especially the first responders doing their best to protect lives and property. 

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