|Using data from NOAA’s GOES satellites and Google Earth Engine, Google creates a digital polygon to represent the approximate wildfire impact area on Search and Google Maps.
Google in an effort to reduce impact of natural calamities, has planned to launch an SOS alerts system that will provide deeper insights for areas impacted by an ongoing wildfire. Few weeks back Google also introduced Earthquake alerts for Android users by leveraging tiny accelerometer sensors equipped with modern smartphones.
Google is using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) GOES constellation of satellites combined with Google Earth Engine’s data analysis capabilities. Users can get real-time data about a growing wildfire, exact location of it and how they can avoid it. The data being refreshed roughly every hour, can be used to create a wildfire boundary map that people can see directly on their phone or desktop.
On Google Search
When people search for keywords like “Wildfire in California” or a specific fire like “Kincade fire”, they will be able to see a wildfire’s approximate boundary of the fire, name and location, as well as news articles and helpful resources from local emergency agencies in the SOS alert.
On Google Maps
Along with the same details from Search results, users will receive warning if they’re approaching an active blaze. Also if someone is exploring an area near a wildfire on Google Maps, they’ll get an ambient alert that will point them to the latest information.
Such efforts from Google can certainly help in alerting users and can provide essential information in time of disaster strikes.
Google said it piloted the new feature last year in California to determine its usefulness and plans to roll it out to other areas in the world.