Last year’s California wildfires, graphically

Some people learn or are stimulated most effectively by reading, or hearing someone talk about a subject. Others, like myself, respond better visually. For me, there is truth in the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. So I can appreciate well-thought-out graphics that tell a story.

Lauren Tierney started her job with the Washington Post’s graphics department in November and yesterday she had her first graphics story published. If you click on the image in the Tweet below, the perimeters of wildfires that burned last year in California will be superimposed around an outline of the District of Columbia.

The article at the Washington Post website has additional fire-related graphics. One shows all of the 2017 fires on a map of California, and another allows you to choose which city you’d like to compare to the Thomas Fire, which became the largest in the recorded history of the state.

Frankly, when a reporter compares the size of a fire to a city, like, “The XXX Fire is the larger than Pittsburgh”, that does not mean a lot to me. But these maps take it to a new level.

I had occasional problems getting all of the graphics to render properly using the Chrome web browser, but they worked fine with Firefox.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.