GaugeMap: new online map of river levels across England and Wales

by Ian Tokelove

GaugeMap is a new online map from Shoothill which shows river levels across England and Wales. Shoothill created the FloodAlerts live map system now used by the Environment Agency, BBC, MSN and kayakers and canoeists seeking information on water levels.

What is Shoothill GaugeMap?

GaugeMap is Shoothill’s take on the Environment Agency’s River Levels On the Internet but in GaugeMap, over 2,400 river level gauges from England and Wales are now ‘live’, and viewable and on a single map. Not only that but each of the Environment Agency river level gauges now has its own Twitter account, so to see the latest status of a stretch of river, you only need to follow it on Twitter.

Walk through and features of GaugeMap

On load, the system looks like this:

Shoothill GaugeMap river levels
The main features:

  • Each ‘pin’ represents a single gauge on the map and each is colour-coded to give an instant (and holistic) view to the end user of the current state of the ALL the gauges across the entire country (blue means flooding is possible, red/brown means below average and green is normal range).
  • All of the Environment Agency Gauges are ‘Twitter enabled’ and this means the gauges now ‘Tweet’ their individual river levels. As each station Tweets its river level twice a day, you only need to follow a gauge on Twitter to be able to see the latest readings every day. Each Tweet also contains the unique URL of each gauge referring back to that gauge on GaugeMap.

This is what a gauge actually looks like on Twitter  (‘Welsh Bridge’ gauge in Shrewsbury )

GaugeMap on Twitter

  • Tweets themselves look like this:

GaugeMap twitter tweet

  • Twitter enabled gauges within GaugeMap are signified on the map like this (as new Twitter accounts are created for each gauge they will also appear on the map):

GaugeMap twitter map

  • To follow a gauge on Twitter within GaugeMap, select a gauge and simply click the ‘Follow on Twitter’ button to be taken to that account on Twitter. From there, they click the ‘Follow’ button and they will then start to receive Tweets from the desired gauge:

Follow GaugeMap gauge on twitter

  • Each group of gauges (e.g. below average, flooding is possible, etc) can be toggled on and off on the map, so you can just see only the gauges you might want.
  • When searching for a gauge, ‘Smart Search’ means that when someone types say ‘Severn’ as soon as they type ‘Sev’ they will see this:

GaugeMap Smart Search

  •  This gives the end user the choice to select by area, river or catchment. If you select ‘River Severn’ then you will see this:

GauageMap select by area, river or catchment.

  •  Another feature associated with search, is that once a selection has been made then the SEARCH RESULTS appear on a tab on the right (and are sorted by, river / catchment etc), and it shows all the gauges selected like this:

GaugeMap search results

  • Each gauge is loaded from within the same original source URL (e.g., so there is not a different page for each gauge (only an extension on the URL). So you only need the station number to get to complete the specific gauge’s URL, and once clicked, the URL takes the user to GaugeMap and opens the right gauge.
  • Gauges are ‘dynamic’ and so change ‘on the fly’ whenever the data is changed, so there is no need to refresh the browser to get the latest info.(currently disabled)
  • Gauges currently go back for the last five days.
  • Each Gauge is ‘Tweetable’ and ‘Like’ enabled on Facebook and Twitter.
  • GaugeMap works on an IPad / Android / Surface devices etc.

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