Mind sharing how you get the OPS map on google earth? I’ve had luck with IR maps in kml or kmz format but no luck with PDF files. Thank you.

CA-MEU-Mendocino Complex (contained)
CA-MEU-Mendocino Complex???
Informational maps

Convert PDF to TIFF or JPG, Image Overlay in Google Earth, then patience, lottttts and lotttts of patience. A little cursing even. Cracked open a beer one night attempting it and couldn’t quite line up the roads right…

There are some actual KMZ’s on the FTP folder of the Ops map georectified. I think 8/17 was the last one. I was talking with the SITL that made them and it was similar pain for them. There’s a couple hang ups between the tools they use in Arc and the “simplicity(?)” of Google Earth. GE is awesome, until it’s not. It’s like a big tease where you think you can get there, you commit some love and labor, and then at the end you find out that no, GE can’t do that. From what I understand, the Air Natl Guard was doing the same manual workflow I was doing, minus the beer, to produce a product from their drone data to the incident. There’s gotta be a better way. Maybe Google can put a little more love in GE in their Image Overlay Tool and subsequent KMZ/KML outputs…

It’s why I use the Ops map from Tuesday on today’s post. I did the labor then, not worth it again until there’s a major change. :grin:


Thanks for the response! I overlayed a TIFF of the west zone map. First time adding an overlay in lieu of importing a kmz file. Nice that it makes the map three dimensional! It’d be real nice if it was map symbology only to preserve the aerial imagery underneath! Still another good tool in the toolbox. Awesome info. Thanks again. Untitled|690x382.


There are people on the “inside” with similar interests of getting the map features and annotations exported as a KMZ for that very reason. It’s being played with by some agency GIS people, but there are some hangups. I’ve been tempted to recreate or import the symbols as an icon pack in GE and then just make my own custom stuff. It would help in some of the rogue IA mapping I used to sketch together on major starts in my backyard.

I LOVE being able to turn the map around, tilt it etc. Really helps visualizing how the fire has been, or could move with terrain or wind, and with aerial view, the fuel differences.


It is too bad they couldn’t publish a separate file with the PDF that has the corner locations. If you have those, you can georectify the pdf right onto Google Earth.


GISS here… Although a simple request that would be another product we would have to maintain. If we honored every special map request and tweak we would need around 20 GISS’s on every incident. That is just not feasible. I love the fact that people are wanting to do this on their own because honestly it takes a little burden off us. Here is a list of basic products produced: IAP tiles, OPS, Branch Maps, SIT Table Map, AirOPS, Pilot, PIO, DPA, Ownership, Fire History, Transportation, Progression, Evac/Repopulation, Suppression Repair, DINS, WFDS, M.A.P. map, Multiple Collector Maps, EGP, uploads to the FTP site and KML’s. There is also FOBS downloads, other misc data collection, base data manipulation all to make incident data updates. HAPPY MAPPING!


GIS does a great job! You’re work is incredible and very much appreciated. It’s amazing the amount of advancements we’ve made in mapping over the years. It’s tremendously enhanced operations, situational awareness, and safety. As more people recognize the value in and embrace the new platforms available this trend should get more support and continue advancing. Most the fires I go on have limited GIS folks. Hopefully you are supported in a manner equal to the support you provide us all. Thanks


I know your extremely busy right now and I am hoping that once things calm down, you would post a how to guide on how your are getting the MODIS data on Google Earth maps. I’m sure it’s easy but I just haven’t been able to figure it out.

Thank you for the great information…


There is a download link for a kml. Just click the “current” button and “open in” google earth.


Read up in this thread for answers. Same workflow as my Mendo Complex work, same frustrations etc. Some of the SIT people from Mendo are on Camp and have been producing the KMZ with the Ops Map in low and high resolutions, but once you export it in KMZ/KML, you lose the ability to modify the properties in GE, especially the transparency of the overlay, so the only benefit to that premade one is quick and dirty Ops over the terrain features of GE. If you want to combine data like Ops, terrain, MODIS etc you’ll have to bring all the ingredients into your own Google Earth and bake it locally.

I noticed it was a bit easier than doing this for the forest fires because the more urban features allowed for a quick alignment, especially Hwy 32, 99, 149 and 70.


Thank you. That was too obvious.


Sorry - missed your question on the MODIS data. I use the AFM KML bundle @hosedragger0703 linked to. One download will typically stay up-to-date in Google Earth, but bookmark this piece incase you need to return and get an updated KML if they change data servers etc. As you load GE up, the KML’s will reach out to the appropriate servers and get the latest data. I only use the MODIS and VIIRS data for day-to-day work, and turn off the 24hr-6day layers to focus more on just the current 24hr heat.


If you are using the (free) version of Google Earth Pro, you can use the ‘Add Polygon’ tool to draw a polygon around the MODIS dots and then click the ‘Measurements’ tab to get acres.


Hi guys,

You can adjust the transparency with the GE overlays we are producing on the Camp While in the sidebar Click the arrow to the left of the kmz name, underneath that an overlay will appear in the tree right click that and click on the “get info” then there will be a blue bar that you can drag to adjust the transparency.

I am working on making this product a standard. I understand what the GISS that chimed in said about products believe me as a SITL im protecting them. This takes about 5 mins to produce just not everyone is aware of it and what it can do. Manually georecrifying it extremely difficult to do well. We can do this right out of arcpro and save all of us lots of frustration.

Our products are at


Thanks AJ. Completely missed the triangle there. That did the trick, thanks for your support out there! Now to cross-pollinate this idea/product to all the IMT’s for 2019…


thats the goal…