The latest entries for The CIO Weblog:

October 26, 2007
Firefighting IT

It must seem like Michael Krigsman is paying me off, considering how often I've been linking to him lately, but I swear, it's really just that he keeps posting stuff that piques my interest.

The latest is a pointer to a Government Computer News article on the IT infrastructure being used by FEMA and CalFire to deal with the tremendous information demands being created by the conflagrations in Southern California.

The video embedded above is another example of technology's impact on firefighting and how fire managers are using it to stay informed; it's a time lapse of still webcam shots from a National Science Foundation camera at a project which happened to be in the fire zone. Without having to put any spotters in harm's way, fire managers could get an excellent ground-level perspective on fire path and behavior in near real time. Specialized infrared cameras and satellite shots have been used for years to develop intelligence on wildfires, but we're starting to see how commodity products and general purpose communications applications are being quickly adapted to fill many of the same purposes at much lower cost.