Firewatch 🔥

Project Info

Firewatch thumbnail

Project Description


The devastating effect that bushfires have on the forests of Tasmania is a growing epidemic which seems to be worsening as time goes on.

In summer of this year, Tasmania experienced the second largest bushfire event in the state's history [abc news], resulting in the destruction thousands of hectares of land and many communities of people put at risk. As the changing climate causes successive summers to grow warmer and warmer, so does the potential catastrophic effects of these fires grow.

Firebase is a project which aims to combine several data sources into a single accessible application in order to monitor fire incidents as they occur, and to provide a simple evaluation of their potential risks.

The application is built around data sourced directly from the Tasmanian Fire Service, providing a list of currently occuring fire events, each of which has a risk

Tasmania's forests are one of its most impressive and beautiful features, serving as both a popular attraction for tourists, as well as something frequently enjoyed by those who live here. However, in recent times, we have seen Tasmania's natural environment, the infrastructure which supports it, and the people who live in it, threatened by a rising bushfire epidemic. The fires which occured over the summer of this year formed the second worst bushfire event in our state's history. As the changing climate causes summers to grow warmer and warmer, it is predicted that the catastrophic effects of bushfires will only continue to grow.

Firebase is a project which aims to combine several data sources into a single accessible application in order to monitor fire incidents as they occur, and to provide a simple evaluation of their potential risks.

The application begins by monitoring the tasmanian fire service website, using the datasets they provide to create a list of currently occurring fire incidents. Each event shows the place that it is occuring, the time it was reported, and the severity. As you can see, there's nothing too serious happening at the moment, but that is likely due to the time of year we are in. I imagine that as we move into the warmer months, we will see these risks grow.

Clicking on any event will bring you to a page showing more information about the incident, as well as a map. The map allows you to see where exactly the incident is occuring, while also showing significant features surrounding it that could be at risk. For this prototype, we decided to concentrate on protected trees which hold a great significance in the community, and in public libraries to represent the community and infrastructure side of things.


Data Story


current status of bushfires and other incidents of concern within Tasmania. This data forms the 'entry point' for our application, serving as the first piece of data which is then correlated with other datasets to build up a more complete picture of the possible bushfire threats to property and nature around the state. As this dataset is provided in a regularly-updating RSS feed format, it was tricky for us to gain a good amount of testing data, as our team was limited to viewing whatever incidents were currently occuring at the time. While this may have hindered effective testing and demonstration, it does mean that the application is constantly powered by very realistic and applicable data, which will gain even more relevance in the warmer months when there is greater fire risk.

We used data on significant trees around Tasmania as an indication of the various areas around Tasmania that contain significant and protected natural features. The most useful portion of this dataset was the URLs to the source sheets, which contained a breadth of information about the natural features including photos, names, locations, and justification for their status. Unfortunately, most of this information was improperly formatted and so impossible to extract and use, but we were able to glean enough to demonstrate how this sort of data could be used in our application.


Evidence of Work

Video

Homepage

Team DataSets

Tasmania Fire Service: Current Bushfire Summaries

Description of Use: This dataset was used to gain almost live information on the current status of bushfires and other incidents of concern within Tasmania. This data forms the 'entry point' for our application, serving as the first piece of data which is then correlated with other datasets to build up a more complete picture of the possible bushfire threats to property and nature around the state. As this dataset is provided in a regularly-updating RSS feed format, it was tricky for us to gain a good amount of testing data, as our team was limited to viewing whatever incidents were currently occuring at the time. While this may have hindered effective testing and demonstration, it does mean that the application is constantly powered by very realistic and applicable data, which will gain even more relevance in the warmer months when there is greater fire risk.

Data Set

CoH Trees - Significant Tree Locations

Description of Use: This dataset is used as an indication of the various areas around Tasmania that contain significant and protected natural features. The most useful portion of this dataset was the URLs to the source sheets, which contained a breadth of information about the natural features including photos, names, locations, and justification for their status. Unfortunately, most of this information was improperly formatted and so impossible to extract and use, but we were able to glean enough to demonstrate how this sort of data could be used in our application.

Data Set

Challenges

🌟 Climate Change Issues in Hobart

Region: Tasmania

Challenge

Most Outstanding Tasmanian Benefit

Region: Tasmania

Challenge

Best Use of Tasmanian Spatial Data

Region: Tasmania

Challenge

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