8_6 Wildfire Broadcast (Updates from California and Alaska, NASA and UN News, and More)

Hello, and welcome to GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Esri’s Geodesign Summit.

Today’s Top Story is wildfires. Once again, the United States is battling record-setting wildfires in several areas. In California, wildfires have destroyed more than 134,000 acres, which is three times the state’s five-year average for this time of year. The 60,000-acre Rocky Fire has displaced more than 13,000 people, and nearly 10,000 firefighters are working on 21 fires statewide, as Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency.

There are also major fires in the Pacific Northwest, but all of this is nothing compared to what’s going on in Alaska, where more than 4.75 million acres have burned, already the state’s third-largest fire season since 1950. That area is twice the size of Yellowstone National Park or larger than the entire state of New Jersey.

I’ve been showing a lot of maps illustrating the infernos, and you should expect to see many more in the news as firefighters continue to battle the blazes, and scientists and decision makers look at the causes and what can be done to help prevent future damage.

That was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this interview clip from Esri’s Geodesign Summit.

Scientists are swapping topographic maps for satellite images as part of a new NASA mission to create the first global inventory of Earth’s surface waters. They recently finished compiling 1,756 satellites images of North American rivers and streams in preparation for the 2020 launch of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite that will use information from those images to boost the accuracy of its observations.

Applications for the Geovation Programme are set to close on August 10th, so you have just a few more days if you’d like to be a part of this startup hub run by Ordnance Survey in Great Britain. Developers, innovators and entrepreneurs will be guided through an innovation process that focuses on developing ideas through product creation and commercial realization.


In industry headlines, Esri released Field Notes—Earth, a free mobile app built using Esri’s AppStudio for ArcGIS that helps users discover interesting facts about population, nature and physical landscapes for any location on Earth.

URISA announced the recipients of its 2015 Exemplary Systems in Government Awards, which it has handed out since 1980. Check out the URISA Web site for details. www.urisa.org

And VisionMap introduced upgraded oblique capabilities to its A3 Edge Digital Mapping System, which uses a proprietary Roll Stabilization Technology that increases efficiency, particularly for oblique projects.

For today’s Final Thought, here’s a video from the United Nations reminding us that it’s a big world out there, and geospatial technology can help make it a better one.

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I’m Todd Danielson, and this … was your GeoSpatial Stream.