Under the ‘Tools’ tab you will find a range of other tools for viewing, customising, measuring and understanding NAFI data.
The ‘Map Layers’ menu lists all map layers used on the NAFI site. The layers are grouped into categories which can be explored by clicking on the triangle next to each group to expand a drop-down menu of layers.
You will notice some layers have a circle radio button as well as a square one. The circle radio buttons allow you to activate layers for querying (see ‘Querying Layers’ below). Simply explore and select the relevant layers you wish to explore by clicking on the square box next to them.
The layers displayed in the example below are rainfall zones 600 – 1000 mm (activated in the ‘Base’ menu) and burnt area by the month for 2022 (activated within the ‘Firescars’ drop-down menu).
You will note that some of these layers are viewable as part of the ‘Track Fires’ or ‘Fire History’ menus also.
Customise Standard Map
Normally the map layers automatically displayed on NAFI will be the current 250m fire scars by month and the recent hotspots. Clicking the ‘Save as standard map button’ will save the current settings as the default display.
To create your customised map:
- Select the ‘Tools’ tab.
- Click on the ‘Map Layers’ button to open the layer menus.
- The layers are grouped into categories. Click on the triangle next to each group to expand a drop-down menu of layers.
- Select the relevant layers you desire by clicking on the square box next to them. You will notice some layers have a circle radio button as well as a square one. The circle radio buttons are to activate layers for querying (we will discuss that next).
- Once the map is as you desire, select (click on) the ‘Save as standard map’ button.
- Once you set a new default layer, a button will also appear allowing you to revert to the standard default layers. Simply select the ‘Reset standard map’ button and click on the ‘Standard map’ tab or button above to revery to NAFI’s standard map.
The ‘Query Active Layer’ button lets you see information about features in layers. Only some map layers can be queried in this way including NAFI’s 250m fire scars from 2011 onwards and some of the boundaries in the ‘Base’ group such as ‘Parks’. These layers need to be activated by selecting the layers radio button (empty circle) next to the layer.
The following example shows how to query burnt area mapping:
- Select the ‘Tools’ tab.
- Click on ‘Map Layers’.
- Click on the ‘Firescars’ button to open a drop-down menu of years to query.
- Check the radio button (the circle) next to the layer you wish to query.
- Scroll down the menu bar and select the ‘query other active layer’ button.
- You should see a yellow point appear at end of your cursor. Click on the burnt area mapping of interest.
- The mapping period and other information will be displayed in a popup box.
Measure Distance & Area
Measure ‘Distance’ & ‘Area’ tools can be accessed through the ‘Measure’ menu. These allow you to measure distances (km) and areas (km²) on the map using the cursor.
- Click on either tool.
- Instructions on how to use the tools will display below the button and you will notice a yellow point appear at end of your cursor.
- Click on the map to measure – double click to finish.
- A box will appear with the measurements.
- Click ‘Reset’ to clear.
- Click the navigation button to exit and navigate.
The ‘Information’ menu provides useful links for fire managers including:
- Useful Links: Selecting this button provides a list of links (below) to useful websites from fire agencies to weather conditions and information on the satellite systems used by NAFI.
- Information Hub: Links to help documents, Fire Edge Mapper, Infographcs and Animations.
- Info booklets: links to how-to booklets for using NAFI and viewing Landsat imagery to view burnt areas.
- Send fire lines to help fire scar mappers: brings up a popup box with the current email contacts for the NAFI fire scar mappers. This allows fire managers who have shapefiles or other spatial data on fire breaks or fire lines they have implemented that should have produced fire scars, to send these to the mappers to alert them to recently burnt areas that need to be inspected for mapping.
Google Earth, WMS
It can be useful to display the NAFI fire maps alongside your own map data, (e.g., locations of tracks, fence-lines, or significant areas), for planning or reporting on your fire management. This menu provides links that allow continually updated NAFI fire data to be fed into a mapping program. These feeds allow you to view regularly updated NAFI data alongside other maps that may be useful for your fire management. Each link takes you to an instructions page on how to set up the link depending on the mapping program you have. You can also find some of these links under the ‘Data’ tab.
Some of the most popular mapping programs is Google Earth another QGIS or ArcGIS.
We discuss and work through downloading and using this data in our ‘QGIS for North Australian Fire Managers’ course.
Report a Problem
The ‘Report a problem’ provides is a simple email link that allows you to contact NAFI staff and report problems with NAFI.
Under the ‘Map Legends’ menu is two legend tools:
- ‘Toggle Legend’ – You can hide or re-display the map Legend (the list of layer colours in the lower right of the display) simply by clicking the ‘Toggle Legend’ button. This can be useful if you need to maximise your display area.
To restore the legend, just re-click ‘Toggle Legend’.
- ‘Legend for NAFI background maps’ – You can also view the legend for the background maps used on the NAFI site (the symbols used for roads, railways, airfields, contours etc.). When the ‘Legend for NAFI background maps’ button is selected, the legend will open in a new tab.