Illustrating the scale of fires: Open data from the National Interagency Fire Center

Jonni Walker
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Sep 11, 2020

Illustrating the scale of fires: Open data from the National Interagency Fire Center

Jonni Walker

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Sep 11, 2020

Cartographic controls are critical to visualize dense data and help understand what is happening live on the ground. The need for up-to-date maps during wildfires has never been more apparent. Open data from the National Interagency Fire Center shows the the scale of the wildfires spreading across the Western US.

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The community team is documenting a comprehensive list of open data sets tracking these fires, see Marena’s post “Open data for mapping wildfires, smoke, and air quality” — including data on fire perimeters, origins, hotspots, and evacuation zones.

Maps like this are critical for residents and emergency response workers navigating the disasters, and for everyone to understand the scale of these catastrophic fires.

Here I’m using the glow effect (firefly technique) and monochromatic styling of satellite imagery with a saturation level of -0.85, I loaded the open data from the National Interagency Fire Center (fire data shapefile as of 09/09/2020) into Studio.

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Jonni Walker is a Cartographer at Mapbox based in the UK. He’s doing a series of posts this summer on his cartography called “Painting with Mapbox Studio”. He’ll share the principles used in his designs and tips that you can leverage to build right now.

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