Here is a map looking at a century of California wildfires, sliced into 100-square-mile zones.
Here are some close-up extracts.
The data comes from the Fire and Resource Assessment Program (acronymed to…FRAP) accessed from Living Atlas.
This is an update to the previous version where I made a topological error (intersection rather than within when performing the spatial join) and way overcounted the fires. This version is as truthy as can be, I think.
Here is a GIS-y how-to (which is how I discovered my error —there’s a lesson in that). Here’s the gist: Extract only wildfires from the data, filter to most recent 100 years, aggregate to 100 square mile hexagons, cartographize. Fin.
Here is a cartographic how-to. Here’s the gist: Examine defaults carefully and make your own choices. Think about the emotional/biological implications of using red in a thematic map. Make range breaks easy to conceptualize.
My regards to those who have suffered because of these wildfires. I hope that, as with any map, a visualization can help reveal some amount of insight and awareness, however small.