Monday, November 17, 2008

So Cal Fires: ArcGIS Server application and shapefiles available

ArcGIS shapefiles which depict the perimeters of the recent fires (2008) in Southern California have been made available. I have downloaded the shapefiles and used them to develop an ArcGIS Server online service
where you can view the most current fire perimeters. To access this service, point your Internet browser here:

The map will open to the "Freeway" fire event and show the most recent fire perimeter for that event. The "Tea" and "Sayre" fire perimeters are also available to view. To navigate to each fire event, use the Zoom Out
tool so that you can see the broader Southern California area, then use the Zoom In tool by dragging out a rectangle over the fire area which you want to view.

Unfortunately, for this particular service, the Full Extent tool goes to the full extent of the world, so that is not too useful for this application.

For each fire event the shapefiles are ordered in the Table of Contents on the left side oldest to youngest from the top down. For each event the perimeter associated with the most recent shapefile is activated. You can
click to activate any one shapefile for an event. You can do this in a time sequence to view how each fire perimeter expanded over time.

The shapefiles were collected by GEOMAC ( and then stored on the USGS website (;O=A).
You can access the shapefiles directly at that location. Since I already downloaded these shapefiles, I copied them on my Webfiles account for you to use in ArcMap. To access the zip file which contains the shapefiles go here:

Let me know if you have questions about the ArcGIS Server Southern California Fires application or the fire perimeter shapefiles.

Tony Soeller
Senior Research Computing Specialist
Network & Academic Computing Services, U. C. Irvine

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Powering the Planet" - lecture on world's energy challenges

If you want a very sobering analysis of the world's energy problem, I suggest you attend Cal Tech Chemistry Professor Nate Lewis's lecture "Powering the Planet". If you can't see his lecture in person, you can view
a previously given lecture on his web site.