Virtual Fire (VF) was a research project by the University of the Aegean, supported by University of Athens and Microsoft Hellas/Microsoft Innovation Center in Greece; funded by Microsoft Research. VF was a fully stand-alone, web-based early warning and decision support system for integrated forest fire management, based on geo-informatics and IT modeling. The main concept of the project was that firefighting forces need a tool to access geographical and relational data easily, validly, promptly and immediately during a fire event, without the knowledge of handling complicated GIS applications and the installation of special desktop software. End-users were able to access 3-day weather forecasting maps, daily fire risk maps, real-time fire behavior maps, vehicle and resource positions, satellite images etc., all through a simple Internet connection of their Palmtop or GPS with the VF platform.
My personal involvement in the project was the update of the fire danger rating system developed within AUTOHAZARD-PRO project and the preparation of the appropriate procedures for the publication of spatial data and remote sensing images through Microsoft’s Virtual Earth platform.