Drone mapping California’s wildfires: New whitepaper on the next steps

Drs. Chittayong Surakitbanharn, former executive director of the Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative (now head of marketing for Hivemapper), and Gregory Crutsinger, Founder of Scholar Farms, have coauthored a newly released white paper reviewing the use of drone mapping in major wildfires in Northern California during the 2017 and 2018 fire seasons.

The white paper illustrates the potential for drones to provide fast, high-resolution, low-cost map layers following a disaster. It focuses specifically on the deployment of drones during the Camp Fire in Butte County as a case study.

The goal of the short paper is to highlight the process, challenges, and future work needed to integrate drone mapping and image processing as part of an emergency toolkit. The authors propose both technical and organizational actions to reduce operational barriers of drone deployment in future emergency management scenarios.

The full white paper can be downloaded freely at: https://www.scholarfarms.com/freewhitepaper

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