Day 553 – Fire layer

Good news for Cape Town and the surrounding area is that we will apparently soon be able to visualise wildfires on Google Maps. Just like traffic, terrain and satellite have their own map layers, starting this week, the rollout of a “fire” layer will begin.

Wildfire boundaries should be updated on an hourly basis, and Google says you’ll be able to tap on a fire to see information from local governments, like “emergency websites, phone numbers for help and information, and evacuation details. When available, you can also see important details about the fire, such as its containment, how many acres have burned, and when all this information was last reported.”

That additional level of detailed information will begin in Australia and the US, but as a city which suffers from veldfires every single year, Cape Town will surely not be far behind. At which point, this feature turns into a service and actually becomes interesting and useful, as opposed to just interesting.