Mapping of crisis data, an example

From an article in the German online magazine SpiegelOnline, I found a great example of “data mapping in crisis situations”. During the tragic bush fires in Australia, the association of volunteer firefighters in Victoria, CFA, published their data about the reported fires, their status and even the number of emergency vehicles on site in a Statewide Current Incident Summary.


In a mash-up based on Google maps, somebody (I couldn’t verify the author; the article claims it was Google, but it seems to be more an unofficial site) created a visualization that renders the hard-to-read tables into a map representation with color coding etc.


As there is no geodata in the original data tables, it seems the map application is based on “location” and “name” columns being turned into lat/long coordinates using Google’s address geocoding.

This shows how even data that is not geocoded can be turned into an amazingly precise map visualization. However, it also is a good example why thinking about possible meta data needed for enriched presentation is important already when generating/storing information (so this is more a conceptual than a visual issue).

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