Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wildfires bring to light new multimedia efforts

Even though the SoCal wildfires aren't a local story, they have been on everyone's mind these last few days. With the latest advancements in interactive technology, we are able to stay informed on even microscopic news. Here's a roundup of what's happening online.

Quick links to user-generated content:; CNN's I-Report; MSNBC First Person; uReport and's i-Caught.

View Larger Map

The Google map embedded on this page, originally built by San Diego's KPBS, is one of the most complete maps out there. You can see where evacuations are occurring (red crosses), where volunteers are needed (the green horsemen) and which areas are safe to return to (green homes).

You may not have heard of Twitter, but it's an increasingly popular site that allows users to sign up for alerts in the form of text or instant messages as well as desktop alerts. John Edwards' presidential campaign made headlines when it began using Twitter to update supporters. Now, the LAFD is twittering users with traffic and fire updates. LATimes and KPBS jumped on the bandwagon, too.

On Achenblog, WaPo's Joel Achenbach
addresses the link between the wildfires and global warming that NBC made last night. His take:

Climate change didn't force people to build homes in dangerous places. Climate change didn't inspire the U.S. government to suppress fires for decades in places that have traditionally been prone to brush-clearing wildfires.

That doesn't mean we're not sympathetic to the plight of Californians, or folks in the Deep South who are wondering if they're going to run out of water next year because of the recent drought

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

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