Issue 11
Monday, 17 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
Correlating data in the remote north-east
Correlating data in the remote north-east

Mapping project paints clearer management picture

By Andrew Hall

Bushfire management in Northern Australia aimed, ultimately, at reducing greenhouse gas emissions has received funding to facilitate finer satellite mapping imagery.

The Indigenous Land Corporation recently provided funding for the initiative to the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research (part of the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods) which undertakes research supporting remote area fire management.

REIL Knowledge and Adoption Coordinator Dr Peter Jacklyn says the project, which is taking place on Cape York Peninsula, provides regularly updated clear satellite images for mapping firebreaks.

“Remote communities generate income by managing dry season fires to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions,” Dr Jacklyn said.

“In the cooler weather in the early dry season, strategic firebreaks are created and fire managers need to know how effective they are. Until very recently the imaging that they’ve had to work with has been rather coarse.

“The new project is about finding a good way to provide much higher resolution maps so that fire managers can spot gaps in strategic firebreaks.”

He said the difference between older and new technologies was like comparing a pixel the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground to one the size of a basketball court. The images, which come from the US Landsat 8 satellite, are made available on open source software.

“We are providing the mapping in different formats so that people can download them on to a range of devices,” Dr Jacklyn said.