FireWater Mapathon

SSSI FireWater Map-a-thon!

SSSI FireWater Map-a-thon was  held on Saturday 31 October 2020 and will focus on bushfire preparedness for the upcoming bushfire season. Participants collected data on static water infrastructures (such as dams, water tanks and swimming pools). Once again, the OpenStreetMap (OSM) Platform and Hot Tasker Manager will be used to coordinate the mapping effort.

View the welcome message here

Then: the past SSSI National Bushfire Recovery Map-a-thon

In response to the national bushfires which devastated many parts of Australia in late 2019 – 2020, the Surveying & Spatial Science Institute marshalled a significant surveying and spatial volunteer network to collect data on burnt infrastructure. The SSSI National Bushfire Recovery Map-a-thon was held in early February, 2020, with over 600 volunteers participating from over 25 different countries.   

The Map-a-thon was one of the largest single event map-a-thons held in the Australasian region; with a total of 2,793,879 hectares were mapped, with 15,731 edits, 13,891 building edits, 1,091 damaged features mapped and 945 damaged buildings mapped. The data collected was used as a guide for recovery efforts to supplement authoritative data sources where no data exists.

Details about the SSSI National Bushfire Recovery Map-a-thon can be found here.

Now: the present SSSI FireWater Map-a-thon

The previous Map-a-thon focused on bushfire recovery; this Map-a-thon focuses on bushfire preparedness. During bushfires, firefighters often have difficulty sourcing water. In some regional locations mains water may not be accessible to fight a major bushfire. Static water supplies, such as swimming pools, tanks and dams, are vital sources of water for firefighters. This map-a-thon seeks to map swimming pools, tanks and dams to update Australia’s Static Water Supply System.

The focus area for this Map-a-thon is Kangaroo Island and regional Victoria.

NGIS Australia will be setting up the project sites and will put all the systems in place to make sure the map-a-thon runs as smoothly as before. Nearmap will generously supply high resolution aerial imagery where available, along with high-quality imagery supplied by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP Victoria). As mentioned previously, the OpenStreetMap (OSM) Platform and Hot Tasker Manager will be used to coordinate the mapping effort.

What will this data be used for?

The Growing Data Foundation has created a web application called FireWater, which shows how low-cost, long range radio technologies (LoRaWAN) and open GIS mapping systems can be used to provide real time water source data (such as water tanks and natural water sources) to on-the-ground fire crews. It will also incorporate a journey planning functionality, to direct fire crews to nearest available water sources. The data collected during the SSSI FireWater Map-a-thon on static water infrastructure will be used in the App.

In addition, the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying & Mapping, through its Chair Simon Costello has confirmed ICSM and its members organisations welcome the assistance of the surveying and spatial volunteer community to collect data on static water supply infrastructure.  Data collected will assist in improving the accuracy and completeness of the foundation spatial data used by emergency management. 

If you missed our recent webinar on Growing Data Foundation’s FireWater App and the SSSI FireWater Map-a-thon, click here to register to watch the recording.