Creating a map showing a fire perimeter with ArcGIS Online is more straightforward than you might think. The most important layer—the fire location and perimeter—is a publicly shared layer in ArcGIS Online that is generated from a data feed provided by the USGS. So it’s updated regularly without any effort needed by you. Another layer is the MODIS Thermal layer that provides a global coverage of hotspots. This layer’s content is generated from the MODIS sensor on board NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites and is also automatically updated. Two data sources that are continually updated with no work by you. Not a bad deal.
Both of these layers are maintained for your use and can be found within the Wildfire Public Information Map. There are a few other authoritative data sources in there you might want to check out as well, such as live wind conditions.
For the Critical Points of Interest map, we created a new map in ArcGIS Online using the World Imagery basemap, added these wildfire layers, and placed some other content of interest.
Three items were added as Map Notes: O’Shaughnessy Dam, Sequoia Groves, and a Webcam. Each one was added as a separate map note. We turned them off in the legend because the Map Notes layer can create additional unused items in the legend. And since they weren’t in the legend, we made sure to pick easily understandable symbols for each one, such as the stand of trees and camera symbols. We added a description that would appear in the popup when a user clicked on the symbol, and we added live links for the Sequoia Groves and Webcam.
Other layers, like the park boundary were already publicly shared by another user, so we just added them and configured the pop-up to contain the content we thought was appropriate.
There were two layers we had to do a bit more work to add—the community polygons. We could have uploaded these as zipped shapefiles, but we wanted other people to be able to access these layers in case they wanted to add them to their maps. So we published them as feature services in our ArcGIS Online account.
So after adding our layers, configuring pop-ups, and making sure we had all the content we needed and that it was publicly shared, we then saved the map, added some descriptive content to its details section and shared it publicly. This map was later shared in a story map with other related maps.
Check out the Rim wildfire Critical Points of Interest map.