Web-based Mapping Services for San Diego Wildfires 2003

( HTTP://MAP.SDSU.EDU/fire2003/fire2003main.htm  )

Two wildfires (Cedar and Paradise) savaged San Diego County during the week of October 26.  The wildfires kill 16 people and burned down 2427 homes and businesses (data source: www.signonsandiego.com ).  These fires caused the worst damages in the history of San Diego and California.  This web site (http://map.sdsu.edu) was created immediately on October 27 (Monday morning) to provide web mapping services for helping our local community.  This site is updated daily and provides maps of the San Diego wildfires with various live ArcIMS web mapping services, static maps, and research articles.  Most maps on this site have been created by the faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Geography, San Diego State University. 

[Enter the NEW Web-based Mapping Services Here]


San Diego 2007 Wildfire mapping ( http://map.sdsu.edu )


Click the following links to access:

NEW!  3D Fire Spread Animation Movies (created by Harry D. Johnson, Department of Geography, SDSU).  Quicktime Movies (Require 6.5 or later version. Click here to download the Quicktime 6.5.1 player. http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/standalone/ )

(Cedar Fire Animation)                        (San Diego County)                        (Paradises Fire)



NEW!  SDSU Geography Department is collaborating with San Diego Fire Recovery Network (SDFRN) now to establish a prototype of the GIS data center for San Diego Wildfire Recovery and Management.   The new GIS data center website includes downloadble data (shapefiles and coverages and metadata). 
Web address:  http://map.sdsu.edu/fireneti


New Update! Mobile GIS/GPS Mapping (Enter Here)

Click here to see the large-size Panoramic View (Mission Trail Regional Park)

New! Download Field Trip Movie (November 12, 2003): 

[ Research Notes ]


[ Interactive Web Mapping Services ]

[Click Here to enter the Web Mapping page]

Damage Assessment Map

With Census Data and Fire Perimeters (from SANDAG) http://map.sdsu.edu/website/fire2003eNEW/this web map overlayed census data (1990 street blocks from ESRI's ArcDATA), ZIP code areas, and updated fire perimeters (provided by SANDAG) with aerial photos (2001 DOQQ).  You can use query tool to identify the demographic profile of each street blocks. (created by Ming Tsou)

NOTICE:  Since all fire GIS data are gathered from different agencies with different data uncertainty (data accuracy).  The web map may contains some geospatial errors. Please only use these maps for preliminary reference.

Click Here to open the map viewer (30 seconds).

Special Thank to SANDAG staff for providing updated fire perimeters.

(If this ArcIMS doesn't work, try the backup service here http://map.sdsu.edu/website/fire2003e/ )

Fire Perimeters with detail roads (street labels) ( http://map.sdsu.edu/website/fire2003d/  ) Date provided by GEOMac, USGS. (ftp://ftp.geomac.gov/outgoing) and SANDAG.  with help from Rachael Ouellet and Pete Coulter.  (ArcIMS Map Service created by Ming Tsou)

NOTICE:  Since all fire GIS data are gathered from different agencies with different data uncertainty (data accuracy).  The web map may contains some geospatial errors. Please only use these maps for preliminary reference.

Click the map to launch the map viewer (may take 30 seconds), you can use [Magnify tool] to zoom-in the detail areas


Web Mapping Services: (click here see the detail descriptions of these services)

[ Multimedia Maps -- Animation, 3D ]

Fire Spread Animation (Oct 25-Oct 31)

Note: The map is based on the MODIS data which only take a snap shot on Earth surface twice per day. Some burned areas may not be detected by the satellite images.

This animation is created by using MODIS data from October 25 to October 31. The fixed red dot in Day 0 indicates the origin of fire.  The Red/Yellow dots indicate the hot spots at each day (with different temperature from 305 degrees to 504 degrees (Kelvin).  The brown dots indicate previous burned areas. This animation is composed by six separated pictures.  (created by Ming Tsou)  (Click here to see the separated images and other animation maps)

[ Static, Printable Map Gallery ]

[Click Here to enter the map gallery page]

Fire History Map

(created by David Mckinsey dave@typhoon.sdsu.edu )

Click the map to view high-resolution maps.

[ Additional Web Links]

Official Government Links:

Maps and Images Links:

Date 10-27-2003, Satellite Image of San Diego wildfires (Data source: http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html )

[ GIS data ]

Online GIS data related to the wildfire at San Diego:


Download GIS data from SDSU website (13 MB Zip file)

All GIS shapefiles from this site used the same SPCS California VI coordinate system. The following is the descriptions of data in the compressed zip file:

Special Thanks to USGS/Geography Discipline and GeoMac to provide updated GIS data for our web mapping services.

(SDSU data generated by Ming Tsou)

[How GIS can help us]

HOW Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can help us

Spatial Decision Support Systems. By utilizing a standardized web mapping interface, individual participating agencies can implement their own data systems and services while maintaining an aggregated system-wide interoperability through multiple data warehouses and web-based decision support systems (Figure 1). Two data warehouses (one operational and one for emergency backup) should be established to provide the gateway for accessing geo-spatial data and remote sensed imagery for various applications. Each data warehouse will update their data automatically by communicating with each local database server through standardized communication protocol (Z39.50, TCP/IP, and HTTP) and OpenGIS catalog interface. The web-based Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) will provide on-line mapping functions and the display of remotely sensed data. The web-based SDSS can used by decision makers and spatial analysts in command and control centers to collect and process information via a secure intranet or encrypted mobile wireless networks, to make decisions and initiate responses to field locations and on-site officers.


Figure 1. Interoperable database framework for web-based spatial decision support systems.


Mobile GIS.  Establish a working example for the integration of mobile GIS applications. The mobile devices will have the integrated capabilities of GPS, GIS, and remote sensing. Web-based mapping facilities can be integrated with wireless mobile devices and GPS. Currently ESRIís ArcPAD is the pocket-size GIS software which can be used in this research. Also, Microsoft provides several free development tools for mobile and embedded applications under their .NET framework, such as the Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit (MMIT). MMIT adopted Wireless Markup Languages and compact HTML (cHTML) which can be applied for mobile devices.

The following figure illustrates a possible working example of one such mobile GIS solution. In this example, an Internet map server is installed on a notebook computer with wireless access port. The notebook and wireless access port will be placed inside a vehicle to provide power for wireless communication. Field workers can use Pocket PCís with GPS and a wireless card to access large remote-sensing imagery and GIS data from the server via Wi-Fi communication channel. The whole system is mobile and suitable for various environmental monitoring tasks.

Figure 2. Wireless Local Network Solution for Mobile GIS

The Future of Internet GIS

Mission  Statement

Along with the progress of computer networks and the popular use of the Internet, distributed geographic information services and Internet mapping facilities have emerged as primary research areas in geographic information science (GIScience). The need for global access to and decentralized management of geographic information is pushing the geography community to deploy a distributed geographic information service (GIService) architecture on the Internet. However, current research mainly focuses on data interoperability and ad-hoc technique-centered solutions without considering the uniqueness of on-line spatial information and the distribution of geographic information systems (GIS) processes.

The goals of this research Web site are to facilitate the development of on-line GIS applications from a short-term, technology-centered project to a sustainable development strategy. 

A prototype of dynamic Internet map server (DIMS), a GIS-oriented software agent model, and a geoagent communication protocol (GCP) will be developed and installed in this Web site in order to identify the requirements of distributed GIServices and the implementation procedures of Internet mapping facilities.  This Web site is also used for the development of a new course curriculum, GEO 596 (Internet Mapping and Distributed GIS), and its lab exercises.


This Web server includes the following information:


Hosted Websites:

This Web server also hosts the following Web sites:

Related Courses:

Other Internet GIS resources:


Special Thanks

Special thanks to the following people and organizations for their great help and supports: