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palewire/ Secret

Last active Jan 31, 2020
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SND entry for L.A. Times Wildfires Map

California wildfires map

Our always-on live wildfires map aims to provide our most up-to-date coverage of fire perimeters, hotspots and evacuation zones in California.

Our map is populated by a custom feed of data sources we assembled and automated. It includes government sources like CalFire, GeoMAC, NOAA, and NASA. It also mixes in an exclusive feeds of fires spotted by Descartes Labs' satellite imagery algorithm, the most up-to-date source on any news site. We also devised a system to manually add fire origin points and evacuation zones in an effort to provide this data to our readers as quickly as possible.

Those sources are then combined into a live-updating data visualization which seeks to bring order to the different sources using binning, shading, annotation and other techniques.

In addition to the live map, which was one of our most popular pages in 2019, we also developed the ability to embed portions of the map focusing specific fires into related stories on

Live wildfire map page

Fire map page

Examples of the map in action

Fire map gif

This live fire map from @latimes is an incredible feat of coding — especially when done on the fly as a number of fast-moving, wind-driven fires broke out yesterday.

🍂 Alicia Ramirez 🍂 (@aliciak2010) October 12, 2019

Mapbox tweet image

We're monitoring California fires on @latimes fire map, which pulls from four different data sources to display fire origin, permiter, hot spots, and air quality.

— Mapbox (@Mapbox) October 26, 2019

Added evacuation zones

Evaucation zones added to the live fire map

Evacuation zones tweet image

Cave Fire Updates, Evacuations; Power Outage maps:
In the map, dotted area is satellite indications of fire spread @latimes @RedCrossCCR #cafire #cawx @SCE #RedCross Wildfire Safety:

— Kevin C. McCoy (@KF5FUZ) November 26, 2019

Embedded fire map

Example of the fire map as an embed within an LA Times story

Embedded fire map image

Embedded fire map image with evacuation zone

Firefighters say forward progress on the small #FoothillFire has been stopped.

Read the latest from @latimes in this post, which includes the first live fire embed map powered by @caseymmiller's always-on app.

— Ben Welsh (@palewire) November 25, 2019
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