New Maps Will Help Georgia Wildfire Experts
Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) officials are getting new maps for fighting fires in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge area with the help of the Institute of Government.
Information technology specialists Lawton Brantley and E.J. Murdock met recently with GFC officials and representatives of the Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners (GOAL) to discuss having updated data and maps ready by the official start of fire season in February 2011.
The goal of the project is to update the 1997 GOAL maps with the most current data available and to depict areas where fire prevention strategies like spraying undergrowth, digging fire breaks, or controlled burns have been implemented,” explains Brantley.
The Institute team will utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) remote sensing technologies in its work. “One of the main activities will be edge-matching various road layers provided by the various GOAL members and integrating them with Georgia and Florida road data to create a comprehensive road network covering the entire area. We will be working closely with GFC to identify which roads are termed primary so that they can be most effectively depicted on the map,” Brantley says.
When the project is completed, officials will have some 50 wall maps and 100 map books, as well as CD versions. In addition to roads and firefighting activities, the map layers will include such data as helicopter landing locations, bridges, bodies of water, fire towers, and boundaries.