Google-eye view of fires

This image, provided by Google Earth, is a still of the map advising Californians of the locations of area wild fires in the San Diego region.

Google Earth

The fires can run, but they can't hide. The general public now has access to detailed maps of areas affected by the fires in Southern California, thanks to Google Earth information posted on San Diego County's Emergency Home Page.

The Google Earth fire information appears via links on the county's home page. The county's Google Earth map of the fire region shows the extent and status of the fires. It provides the names of the fires and additional information useful to residents of the region.

The innovative use of Google Earth to assist residents of disaster areas resonated with a general public image of disaster response in the California fires that outstripped the Katrina hurricane catastrophe.

The physical environment faced by evacuees in the city's Qualcomm Stadium, which featured various services and information nodes reinforced by appropriate information technology, compared dramatically with the human agonies among the evacuees in the New Orleans Superdome two years ago.

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