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Wildland-urban interface maps vary with purpose and context

Posted date: December 04, 2009
Publication Year: 
Authors: Stewart, Susan I.; Wilmer, Bo; Hammer, Roger B.; Aplet, Gregory H.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Miller, Carol L.; Radeloff, Volker C.
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: Journal of Forestry. 107(2): 78-83.


Maps of the wildland-urban interface (WUI) are both policy tools and powerful visual images. Although the growing number of WUI maps serve similar purposes, this article indicates that WUI maps derived from the same data sets can differ in important ways related to their original intended application. We discuss the use of ancillary data in modifying census data to improve WUI maps and offer a cautionary note about this practice. A comparison of two WUI mapping approaches suggests that no single map is "best" because users' needs vary. The analysts who create maps are responsible for ensuring that users understand their purpose, data, and methods; map users are responsible for paying attention to these features and using each map accordingly. These considerations should apply to any analysis but are especially important to analyses of the WUI on which policy decisions will be made.


Stewart, Susan I.; Wilmer, Bo; Hammer, Roger B.; Aplet, Gregory H.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Miller, Carol; Radeloff, Volker C. 2009. Wildland-urban interface maps vary with purpose and context. Journal of Forestry. 107(2): 78-83.