SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- A year ago when the North Bay firestorm broke out, ABC7 News had just started using a brand new tool called SKYMAP7 that turned out to be a critical tool for viewers desperate to see where the flames were burning.
With heavy wind and multiple fires burning, even from SKY7 it was impossible to see through the smoke to figure out exactly what neighborhoods were in the fire's path.
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But state of the art technology in SKYMAP7 shows exact locations, right through the smoke, with highways and roads labeled and clearly visible.
When the fires were over, the destruction was so extreme it was hard to tell what neighborhood you were looking at. But again, SKYMAP7 took care of that problem with a map superimposed on the video that shows the street names.
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SKYMAP7 also can use a Google Earth overlay to show what a location looked like just a week earlier, before the fire hit.
All this technology was originally only available to members of the law enforcement community. Now it's an extremely useful tool, available to viewers, only on ABC7.
Go here for full coverage on the North Bay fires.
SKYMAP7 gives viewers critical fire information during emergencies
NORTH BAY FIRES