A new map, done up in blazing color, plots more than a decade's worth of the massive fires that have hit the United States, offering a revealing portrait of an increasingly common menace. On a stark black background, complete with topographic features, the map shows not only where fires have burned between 2001 and July 2012, but also shows their intensity, veering from a wash of purplish dots for the smallest fires, up through stipples of red and smears of searing yellow for the mightiest blazes. The data, provided by two NASA satellites, were about two mouse clicks away, said John Nelson, the map's maker, and the user experience and mapping manager for IDV Solutions, a Lansing, Mich., data-visualization company.

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