This is just my own notes on fire web site issues.

CFA Victoria - Review

My short review of the CFA victoria site - http://cfa.vic.gov.au/ - is that it is pretty good. The iPad/iPhone (not sure if it is also Android) Fire Ready app is the best part of the system. The automatic alerts we receive on our devices, and ability to see what areas you want is by far the best feature. The map (when it is working) is quite poor, especially when you compare it to Tasmania.

  • Copyright 2012 - in 2013 - means static content, get with the 2000s
  • My CFA - Very hard to find this link - should be top right, login like other sites
  • Performance - 2013-01-04 - it is unthinkable that the servers were not able to cope with the performance on this day. The response was a full day before further resources were added, but it was not even a big day. Wait till we get a big fire day, and it will be 10 to 100 times loaded. I am sure that a 100 times the resources have not been added. Load distributed to other virtual machines, even on other infrastructure (e.g. Amazon Sydney) should be fully automated to spin up new instances in short time. Complexity of the data on the CFA site is very simple. Hardly any changing information, updated every minute or so, not 1000s of time per second like big sites (e.g. twitter, facebook) - so really no excuse.
  • Plan Prepare Resources - great set of resources here - http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/ - but the Images are not clickable. This means you have to click on the "title", which has no indication of being a link. Easy fix, make the images, or whole section clickable. Other parts (e.g. My CFA) has this feature already, so just inconsistency.

Fire Tasmania - Review

My short review of the fire tasmania site - http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/ - is that it is fantastic. The Victoria CFA site should take a leaf out of their page. The control of layers is a great way of controlling what you see. My favourite feature is the ability to see fire boundaries.

  • Map - Z layers of Icons are wrong. So a "White" icon will overlay on top of a "Red" icon, so they can't be seen.