Website Tracks Bushfires

FireLocator.net/aus provides location intelligence for bush fires

As Australia enters the bushfire season for 2009/2010, Pitney Bowes is helping residents better understand the risk they face with the launch of the award-winning Pitney Bowes FireLocator. A free online public service, Pitney Bowes FireLocator (http://www.firelocator.net/aus) collates dynamic information on the situation of bushfires.

FireLocator integrates the most current data from multiple sources, including the Rural Fire Service in NSW and Country Fire Authority in Victoria, as well as satellite hotspots from Geoscience Australia’s Sentinel. All the raw data is collated by PBBI and plotted on a map so all users need do is enter a street address or town to visually see the threat that the location is under and quickly put in place contingency planning. The website also draws on imagery sourced from Flickr, to show geo-tagged photos of the bushfires and their aftermath to give a sense of the situation on the ground.

It was originally developed to aid residents and the emergency services during the California wildfires last year. It has now been adapted with local and current data for the Australian community.

“As the world gets hotter and drier, the risk of bushfires and wildfires is increasing year on year and spreading to previously unaffected areas,” said Arthur R. Berrill, Vice President, Advanced Concepts and Technology, Pitney Bowes. “We see this application as a key tool to safeguard lives, open the lines of communication and reassure all members of the community. Pitney Bowes FireLocator innovatively leverages Pitney Bowes Business Insight’s expertise in location intelligence and understanding of rich internet technologies.

The website will increase communication and understanding for residents, government agencies, emergency services, media outlets and friends and family in New South Wales and Victoria. In the future we hope to integrate data for the other states of Australia where they are on high alert for bushfires this summer.”

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