There have been numerous reports coming out of California about problems the state is facing in dealing with wildfires. An article on CNN mentioned that hundreds have been evacuated from their homes because of threats from the fires . Unfortunately, officials are unsure as to what has caused the fire, but high winds have contributed to the fire's growth. Reading this article sparked my interest in trying to find out where wildfires are currently burning in the United States. I searched out data about fires and came across latitude and longitude data for fires that are currently burning in the United States.
To geocode the data I converted the data from the Active Fire Maps Website to a database file (.dbf), and then imported the table data into Cartographica to geocode the active fires across the United States. This is a really good example of how Cartographica can be used for very practical purposes. I found an article, I wanted to learn more about the problem, so I quickly searched out the data, mapped it, and now I have the georeferenced data that could be combined with other data to really get a good idea about the characteristics of the fires. Combined with other GIS data one could go into great detail about what is causing the fires to spread, and what can be done to control the fire. Below I have included some screenshots of brief analysis I have done to look at the wildfire problem in the United States. The analysis indicates that wildfires in the United States seem to be located mostly in the Western part of the country.
|Screenshot of Convex Hull Around Geocoded Points of Wildfires|
|Kernel Density map of Wildfires|
|Map Showing States Based on the Number of Fires Currently Burning|