March 13, 2018
Cartographer Catherine Costello – usgs
Topic – Mapping & Tracking Wildland Fires
The Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination (GeoMAC) app is an internet-based mapping application originally designed for fire managers to access online mapping of locations and perimeters for wildland fires burning in the United States. With a standard web browser, GeoMAC allows fire personnel to view and pinpoint affected areas. With growing concern over western wildland fires, the app became available to the public in 2000. Today, GeoMAC is the primary source for all wildland fire perimeters, and in 2017 the app—including website and data services—received almost 1 billion hits.
Catherine Costello has been a cartographer with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for 31 years. Much of her career has revolved around natural hazards. She worked as a GIS (Geographic Information System) specialist during Hurricane Katrina, drove a truck delivering fire fighting supplies for two summers, collaborated with FEMA (Federal Emergency Managemet Agency) on food and landslide hazard maps. Costello recently became the project lead for the GeoMAC group.
She has a B.S. in Geography from Utah State University, and an M.S in GIS from the University of Denver.