Eyes in the Sky II > GIT Web Course > Module 2 > Week 8 > Getting to Know Cartography in GIS > Getting to Know Cartography in MyWorld

Week 8: Monitoring Fires

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Getting to Know Cartography in My World

On this page, you'll review database and spatial querying as well as practice symbolizing and classifying data. You'll also find out how to gather statistics on numeric fields that you query.

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Launch My World and Open the Aspen Fire Project

My World Icon
  • Launch My World by double-clicking its icon on your desktop or by clicking its icon in the Dock (Mac) or Launch Bar (Win).
  • Choose File > Open Project, navigate to My World/Data/AspenAE, select the AspenFireMW.m3vz file, and click Open.
  • When the project opens, the base map displays a satellite image of Earth.

    The image is part of the Blue Marble collection at NASA. It is a composite generated from several different types of data. Much of the data comes from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, a remote sensing device on the Terra satellite. Latitude and longitude lines are visible on top of the image.




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Investigate the Spread of the Fire with Database Queries

You might wonder . . . How far did the fire spread and how many acres did it consume by the end of Day 1? Day 2? Day 3? Day 4? Use database queries to find out.

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the Layer List. Turn off the Blue Marble Earth image. Then turn on the Shaded Relief and False Color Aerial images plus the Daily Fire Perimeter layer. Zoom in until you can clearly see the perimeter lines.
  • There are several ways you can do this. The steps below show one way to end up with a map zoomed in on the Daily Fire Perimeter layer.

    1. Scroll down to the bottom of the Layer List.
      TOC contents scrolled down
    2. Turn off the Blue Marble Earth image by clicking the box to the right of its name.
      30 Blue Marble off
    3. Turn on the Countries and US 48 States layer by clicking the boxes to the left of their names.
      31 countries and us states on
    4. Turn on the Shaded Relief and False Color Aerial images plus the Daily Fire Perimeter layer. Look carefully and you will see a small dot in the Southeastern part of Arizona. This dot is all that is visible of the fire images and perimeter layer at this scale. It is necessary to zoom in for a closer look.
      32 shaded relief daily fire on
    5. Make the Daily Fire Perimeter layer active by clicking on its label in the Layer List. Then click the Zoom to Active Layer zoom to active layer button.. This is what the map looks like when zoomed in on the Daily Fire Perimeter layer.
      33 Daily Fire Zoomed in

  • Open the Table of Layer of the Daily Fire Perimeter layer and scroll across the table until you find the ACRES field.
    1. Click on the Daily Fire Perimeter label in the Layer List and select Show Table of the Active Layer button.
      34 Zoom in to data table
    2. In the Table of Layer "Daily Fire Perimeter" window that opens, you can view the individual records for the layer. Scroll across the table until you find the ACRES field.
      35 scroll to acres field

    The ACRES field indicates the number of acres consumed by the fire, feature by feature. You'll notice that a single day frequently consists of several features displayed as polygons that show the area of the fire each day. We'll ask My World to select these, highlighting them together.
  • Close the Table of layer "Daily Fire Perimeter".

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Create and execute a query (selection) that shows how far the fire spread on the first day

How would you write the query statement?
DATE Is Less Than 618 and Is Greater Than or Equal to 617.
  1. Click the Analyze tab.analyze button
    36 click analyze tab
  2. A new Analyze window opens.
    37 analyse windo opens
  3. In the Analyze window choose Select... > by Value. Select Records from Daily Fire Perimeter Whose DATE Is Less Than 618 and Is Greater Than or Equal to 617. Give your selection a new name, Fire 617. Do NOT make your selection a new layer. Click OK.
    38 slect by value
  4. One record is selected on the map and displayed in the selections attribute table.
    39 slection complete

  • In the Selection Attribute table, notice that 52.0807 acres burned that first day.
    40 selection attribute table

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Use the Analyze mode to find out how many acres burned by the end of Day 2

Hint: To find out how many acres burned by the end of the second day, execute a query (selection) that selects the records of areas that burned on both June 17 and June 18, 2003.

How would you write the query statement?

DATE Is Less Than 619 and Is Greater Than or Equal to 617 is the query statement to use. In the Analyze Window choose Select... > by Value. Select Records from Daily Fire Perimeter Whose DATE Is Less Than 619 and Is Greater Than or Equal to 617. Give your selection a new name, Fire 618. Click OK
analyse window 618

  • After executing the query, click the statistics button to see the statistics of the selection. Notice that nine features (values) are now selected.
  • The results of the selection show that 9 records (values) showing the spread of the fire have been selected.
    42 selection 618

  • Use the Statistics button in the Visualize (map) window to find out how many total acres burned.
    1. To find out how many total acres burned, click the Statistics button in the Visualize map window.
      43 selection 618 statistics button
    2. A new window opens. Scroll across the table until you see ACRES as the field to get statistics about. 42 selection 618

    The Statistics includes the Sum which sums the acres burned for each day. The query you built selected all the features from Day 1 and Day 2. So, by the end of the second day, the fire had covered 461.8507 acres.
  • Close the Statistics for Selection window.

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Create and execute a query to find out how many acres burned by the end of Day 3

How would you write the query statement?

DATE Is Less Than 620 and Is Greater Than or Equal to 617 is the query statement to use.

How many acres burned?
3,230.0976 acres had burned by the end of the third day.

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Create and execute a query to find out how many acres burned by the end of Day 4

How would you write the query statement?

DATE Is Less Than 621 and Is Greater Than or Equal to 617 is the query to use.

How many acres burned?
6,348.8247 acres had burned by the end of the fourth day.
  • Close the Statistics window. Click the All (Highlighting off) radio button in the layer's selection list.
Movie Icon

Click on the movie to start playing.

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Investigate the Spread of the Fire with Spatial Queries

You might wonder . . . How many Parcels were within one mile of the fire on Day 1? Day 2? Day 3? Day 4? Use spatial queries to find out.

  • The Shaded Relief and False Color Aerial images plus the Daily Fire Perimeter layer should still be on. In addition, turn on the Parcel Status layer and Zoom to Active Layer.
    1. The Shaded Relief and False Color Aerial images plus the Daily Fire Perimeter layer should still be on.
      44 layers on
    2. Turn on the Parcel Status layer by clicking the box to the right of its name.
      45 clciking to turn on parcel status
    3. Click the Zoom to Active Layer zoom to active layer button. Individual parcels are now visible on the map.
      47 parcel status on active zoomed in

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Select by distance: find parcels that are within one mile of the fire on Day 1

  • In Analyze Mode, choose Select By Spatial Relationship... by Distance [thumbnail XXXX 25]. Select records from Parcel Status that are less than one mile from the Day 1 (617) fire.
    1. In the Analyze window,
    2. Choose Select By Spatial Relationship... By Distance [thumbnail XXXX 25]. Select records from Parcel Status that are Less than 1 mile from records in Fire 617.
    3. Click OK.
      49 analyse window select by distance

  • The map window shows all Parcel Status records that are within one mile of the fire highlighted in magenta.

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Show the results of the spatial query

  • To see the results of the spatial query, make the Parcel Status the active layer and open the Table of the Selection. The number of records selected is at the top left of the Attribute table. Scroll down the table to see all the records.
    1. Make Parcel Status the active layer and click the Show Table of Selection button.
      50 parcels selcted on map
    2. In the within 1 mile of Day 1 table that opens, you can view the individual records for the layer. Scroll down the table. The selected records are highlighted in yellow. The table in this image has been scrolled partially down the list.
      51 attribute table of selection
  • The number of parcels selected is shown at the top left of the table.
    51 attribute table of selection
  • How many parcels were selected?
  • 198 out of 1055 parcels were within one mile of the fire on Day 1 (617).

  • Close the Selection table.

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Repeat the steps above to find the parcels that were within one mile of the fire on days two, three, and four

Movie Icon

Click on the movie to start playing.

loading the player

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Create a New Project to Explore Additional Fire Data

Now that you have explored a specific fire (the Aspen fire), you will broaden your focus to look at fires globally and in the U.S. You will create a new project, add image and vector data and symbolize it as needed to help you visualize patterns in fire data.

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Where were the fires in February 2010?

  • To create a new project file, select File > New Project. My World will ask if you want save the project that you have open. Click No.
    1. Select File > New Project.
      53 file new project
    2. My World will ask if you want save the project that you have open. Click No.The default is Yes...
      54 click no

  • Click the Import New Layer from File add layer from file button. Choose files format "TIFF and GeoTIFF Images". Navigate to the data folder where the image is saved, select the Feb2010_Fire.TIFF, and click Open. The image is located correctly so click OK in the next window that Opens.
    1. Click the Import New Layer from File add layer from file button. Choose files format "TIFF and GeoTIFF Images".
      file format tiff
    2. Navigate to the data folder where the image is saved, select the Feb2010_Fire.TIFF, and click Open
      feb 2010 fire tiff
    3. The image is located correctly so click OK in the next window that opens.
      image location and size accept defaults
    4. Drag the Image from the Data Library to the Layer List.
      drag onto layer list

  • This is the map with the Feb2010_Fire.TIFF image turned on. The image shows fires active across the globe during February 2010. The data come from the MODIS satellite. It was downloaded from NASA Earth Observations (NEO) site as a GeoTIFF file. It was downloaded at the 0.25 resolution, so as not to slow down the rate at which layers are drawn. Some of the points may have been lost in this reduction.
    While it is a pretty picture, it is hard to interpret this raster data without the addition of vector data to orient our brains.
    fire now on map

  • In Construct mode, click and drag the Countries layer from the Data Library to the Layer List to add it to the map. Place it on top of the image. If you need to move this vector layer above the fire image layer, click and drag it up the Layer List.
    1. In Construct mode, click and drag the Countries layer to add it to the map. If you accidentally put it under the image, click in it the layer list and drag to move this vector layer above the fire image layer.

    2. select countries
    3. The Countries layer is now on the map, but it is underneath the Feb2010_Fire.TIFF image.
      countries on but under
    4. Click and drag to move this vector layer above the fire image layer. This is what the map looks like with the Countries layer on top.
      countries is on map

  • The Countries layer is now on the map and visible, but it is hiding the layer below it. Edit the properties of the Countries layer so that only the outlines are visible on top of this predominately black image.
    1. Double click the Countries layer in the Layer List, to open the Edit Appearance of Layer dialog window.
      change outlien color to lt gry
    2. In the Edit Appearance of Layer window, change the Outline Color to Light Gray. Make the Fill Color transparent. Click Apply and Close.
      change fill color to transparent

  • Now the image makes more sense to our brains. It has been given context by the Countries outline.
    view map with countries

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How Do Fire Prone Areas Change throughout the year?

  • Explore more fire data by adding the FEB_2010_MODIS.shp layer to the project.
    1. In Construct mode, click the Import New Layer from File add layer from file button. Navigate to the data folder, select the FEB_2010_MODIS.shp file, and click Open.
    2. My World will ask if the Data is in Latitude and Longitude. It is so click OK
      projection check
    3. Here is what the map looks like with after the FEB_2010_MODIS.shp layer has been added.
      fire data layer has been added

  • To look for patterns in the fire data, return to Visualize mode and in the Edit Appearance of Layer window classify the layer by Julian date field. Break the classification into four classes of graduated symbols using an equal interval classification. By using four classes you are breaking up the month's worth of data into weekly intervals. The Julian calendar is often used in science. On a Julian calendar, January 1 is day one of the year and December 31st is day 365.
    1. Double click on the FEB_2010_MODIS.shp layer in the Layer List and select the Edit Appearance of Layer.
    2. Select the following options in the Edit Appearance of Layer window:
      • Choose Color by the Field: JULIAN
      • Colorscheme: Yellow -Red
      • Transparency: 0%
      • Color Count: 2
      • Minimum: 34 Maxinum: 60 (defaults)
      • Classify by: Equal Interval

      • dialog box
    3. Click the other tabs to change the Shape to Triangle
    4. Change the Symbol Size to Small
    5. Click Apply and click Close
    6. Here is the map with the data classified by Julian date.
      Modis data on map and symbolized

  • Make FEB_2010_MODIS.shp the active layer by clicking on its name in the Layer List. Then click the Zoom to Active Layer zoom to active layer button.
    Modis on map and zoomed in
  • What state and region had the most fires in February?
  • Florida and the southern states had the most fires in February. These fires early in the fire season are typically grass fires. As the season progresses, and more areas dry out, the fires move North and West until fall rain and snow quiets the fire season for another year.


  • Choose File > Save As.. and navigate to the AspenAE folder. Name your project Feb_Fires. My World will automatically add the appropriate extension (.m3vz) when you click Save.
Movie Icon

Click on the movie to start playing.

loading the player

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Create a Map to Tell a Story of Interest to You

  • Create a new project and use at least two of the GIS analysis techniques you've learned in this module (database and spatial querying, symbolizing, classifying, adding latitude/longitude data, gathering statistics) to illustrate a story with data.
  • Feel free to use any of the GIS data from any of the projects in this module. Be sure to look in the YellowstoneFireData that you will download in the next section of this week's material for all kinds of additional data to explore.
  • If you like, you can go to NEO and download a GeoTIFF to bring in as a base layer for your project.
  • Take a screenshot of your map when you have finished it. If you like what you have created then save your project.

This is the screenshot that you will post to your discussion group for your required weekly assignment.

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Resources

  • 60 Minutes Program "Age of Megafires" viewable online. Shows the results of the Aspen Fire Age of Megafires
  • Wildland Fire Graphics and information from CBS News Wildland Fire

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Movies on this Page

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How to download movies

  • Click the link to go to the SERC media library listing for the movie. The record will open in a new window.
  • On the SERC media library page, right-click (Win) or control-click (Mac) the link (below the movie on the Flash version pages) to download the movie file to your hard drive.
  • Look below the movie window for the file download link.

    Save Movie from CMS listing

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Flash Video Versions

Download these versions to play on your computer. You'll need an appropriate movie player to view the file, such as Flash Player, Real Player (Mac / Win), or Adobe Media Player.

Movie Icon Investigating the Spread of the Fire Using Database Queries in My World

Movie Icon Investigating the Spread of the Fire Using Spatial Queries in My World

Movie Icon Creating a New Project in My World

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iPod Versions

Download these version to play on your iPod or iPhone.

Movie Icon Investigating the Spread of the Fire Using Database Queries in My World

Movie Icon Investigating the Spread of the Fire Using Spatial Queries in My World

Movie Icon Creating a New Project in My World