Interactive images vs. webGIS

I came across an interesting interactive image depicting wildfire occurrences across the U.S. -- this one is hosted by the AP news service. I have seen a lot of images like this over the past year or so; maps turned interactive images depicting a wide variety of information, particularly in the climate change arena. I find it interesting because, using the above referenced image as an example, it basically covers the same information that is available via a wildfire webGIS (which, unfortunately, seems to be down right now - maybe that answers my question!) developed by a consortium of federal agencies (GeoMAC). Because the information is so redundant (and comes from the same data sources), it seems, to me, to raise questions about the accessibility of web-based mapping sites -- are they seemingly too complicated, or do they contain too much information that doesn't relate directly to a story? Certainly the image format is easier to deal with from a development standpoint, and can be made pretty a little more easily, and it may just be the news media focus on graphics for particular issues/stories, but I still think it is interesting to see, and to think about how web maps can be made more useful as information resources.