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August 27, 2013

Esri creates interactive map of Yosemite fires

NASA astronauts also document Californian blaze

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Mapping software company Esri has created an interactive map that let’s viewers see exactly what is happening on the ground in the Yosemite Rim Fire.

The fire is currently raging through one of America’s most well-known national parks, and as of Tuesday, the blaze is 20% contained, but it still threatens to burn through Redwood forests and ranger stations.

The map has three views: critical points of interest, fire progression and Yosemite fire history.

"Our maps for the Disaster Response Program pull live, dynamic data from authoritative sources and mash it up with other information sources like social media to provide better awareness of an event," Esri’s Disaster Response Program manager Ryan Lanclos told technology website CNET.

To put together the Rim Fire map, Esri used data from the US Geological Survey, Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination,"hot" spots showing fire activity from the NASA Moder satellite sensor, and shelters coming live from the FEMA National Shelter System.

All of the views of Esri’s Rim Fire map can be seen on the company’s Web site.

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NASA has also released photographs taken by astronauts orbiting on the ISS. The photos clearly show the large extent the fire is burning through the national park.

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