Real-time estimation of wildfire perimeters from curated crowdsourcing
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Xu Zhong; Matt Duckham; Derek M. Chong; Kevin G. Tolhurst
Publication Year: 2016

Cataloging Information

  • Australia
  • crowdsourcing
  • fire perimeter
  • real-time information
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 11, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 58949


Real-time information about the spatial extents of evolving natural disasters, such as wildfire or flood perimeters, can assist both emergency responders and the general public during an emergency. However, authoritative information sources can suffer from bottlenecks and delays, while user-generated social media data usually lacks the necessary structure and trustworthiness for reliable automated processing. This paper describes and evaluates an automated technique for real-time tracking of wildfire perimeters based on publicly available “curated” crowdsourced data about telephone calls to the emergency services. Our technique is based on established data mining tools, and can be adjusted using a small number of intuitive parameters. Experiments using data from the devastating Black Saturday wildfires (2009) in Victoria, Australia, demonstrate the potential for the technique to detect and track wildfire perimeters automatically, in real time, and with moderate accuracy. Accuracy can be further increased through combination with other authoritative demographic and environmental information, such as population density and dynamic wind fields. These results are also independently validated against data from the more recent 2014 Mickleham-Dalrymple wildfires.

Online Link(s):
Zhong, Xu; Duckham, Matt; Chong, Derek; Tolhurst, Kevin. 2016. Real-time estimation of wildfire perimeters from curated crowdsourcing. Scientific Reports 6:24206.