Google launches Australian bushfire crisis map

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Google has launched an online service that shows the location and severity of the bushfires currently raging across Australia.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

Just as it did for the horrific bushfires that ravaged Victoria in 2009, Google has created what it is calling the Fire Crisis Map for the bushfires unseasonably burning across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Google had previously mirrored the NSW Rural Fire Service's (RFS) fire mapping data to help with the traffic load that kept crashing the RFS website. The new site extends that service Australia-wide.

More sophisticated than the 2009 version, this year's map shows where the fires are currently active, where they have died out and how severe they are. The map also shows which areas are at risk, registered back-burning and traffic incidents.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

You can zoom in on the map for a better view and click on the tags to find out the status of any one particular fire.

To accompany the map, the web giant has also launched a service called Google Public Alerts for New South Wales. This monitors and collates updates and alerts posted by Australian fire services, notifying smartphone users if they are in a fire-affected area. Google also noted that Android users can use Google Now to receive evacuation instructions.

CNET Australia would also like to take this opportunity to remind iPhone users that they can download the free Emergency Aus app that delivers emergency warning information from official bodies.

Stay safe.



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