Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tom Z Talks About the Guiberson Fire

[This is a guest post by our friend Tom Zajkowski . We can't pronounce his name, so we stick with “Tom Z”.] My name is Tom Zajkowski. I am a Remote Sensing Analyst with the Remote Sensing Applications Center located in Salt Lake City. Trey asked me to deploy with GeoCam to the Guiberson Fire to serve as a liaison between his team and the CAL FIRE Incident Command Team managing the fire.

The Remote Sensing Applications Center, part of the US Forest Service, continually works with NASA to evaluate technology that can help the FS and other land management agencies fulfill their mission. We always seem to begin with fire applications as they elicit the most interest from management and the public. GeoCam certainly has fire applications, and it can also be used in other applications within the FS, like recreation planning and resource management.

Screen shot of the GeoCam Share map of the Guiberson Fire, as viewed in Google Earth.

I was impressed with the GeoCam utility. As Trey has posted previously there were some issues but that is to be expected on a first or even second deployment. As you can see from the map we were able to collect images from all over the fire. We got a lot of excellent feedback from the fire fighters that will allow us to build on this experience for our next deployment.

I was able to get one of the phones from Trey which I will use to develop a training pamphlet and a brief so that we can help firefighters learn how to use GeoCam before they get to the fire and to evaluate the utility of GeoCam in day-to-day land management applications.

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