Values need correct units

April 29, 2013

There was a whole lots of smoke hanging around our region of Western Australia over the weekend, so I went to the Department of Environment and Conservation website to see if there were any prescribed burns that might be causing it. There were. Normally, there’s a small map that shows the approximate location of the burn, and if you click on the title of the burn you get the burn’s details, including a more detailed map.

Well, the small map didn’t show the location, and I couldn’t figure out where the burn might be from its title (‘DON_917 Lindsay 39’ wasn’t very helpful!), so I clicked on the title to get more information and found out that the burn was mapped as occurring in China! It was correctly listed as being close to Manjimup.

I guess someone forgot to add an ‘S’ to the Latitude value, and it defaulted to ‘N’. Or they accidentally selected ‘N’. If it defaulted to ‘N’, that would indicate the software they are using was made in the northern hemisphere, and/or that someone hasn’t set the global setting for latitude for Western Australia to be ‘S’.

Whatever the reason, this map sure wasn’t very useful, especially to people who live close to that area and who might be impacted by a bushfire if it got out of DEC’s control, as has happened before with tragic results.


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