Greece Fires in Google Earth

Greece Fires in Google EarthThe smoke from the terrible fires in Greece were visible from space. NASA has a program called MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) which has two satellites called Aqua and Terra which are continuously taking photos around the world. The photos from these satellites are available on a web site on a near real-time basis (in raw form, they require some processing before they can be viewed properly in Google Earth). NASA has processed some images for the fires in Greece (see this one for example).
Someone in Spain has posted a nice KML file which shows several satellite photos showing the progression of the fires in Greece over the course of four days. The file overlays the images into Google Earth just like normal satellite photos. After opening the file , you can clearly see the smoke from the fires. The satellites also detect heat and mark them with red outlines (blurry in these low-resolution shots). Just select one of the four different dates to see the progression of the fires. The KML file was posted (in Spanish) at Dulce’s GE blog, and I’ve translated the file into English.
For some more interesting overlays and pictures of the Greece fires, see this thread at the Google Earth Community.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Ed Venzke says:

    MODIS is just one of many instruments flying aboard the Aqua and Terra satellites. Various scientific programs at NASA, NOAA, and universities use MODIS (and other) data for research or to provide services such as fire detection.

  2. tilaphos (“Τηλαφος” in Greek) is a blog collecting geo data about areas of public interest in Greece. Areas collected are presented in Google Maps, and are also available for free download (GPL licensed) in KML files. For the time being, the collection includes mainly burnt areas recorded with the use of GPS. The blog is in Greek, but KML file metadata is in English.

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