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Mapping Natural Resources, Revisited

June 24, 2010

The opportunity to revisit my first mapping project presented itself so I implemented some of the improvements that all of us knew the original could use. The new version will be the Level 2 Citizen Monitors and Monitoring Stations Map.

Soon after I posted my first map, the Water Action Volunteers added a Google Maps-driven map to the web frontend to their database too. The two big improvements that we independently addressed were providing additional information for each marker and finding a way to not load all of the markers at once. The official WAV map accomplished the latter by with a list of checkboxes, one for each site to include on the map (I have no idea why you should be able to select sites that can't be mapped though).

In my new version, I mapped each watershed group or individual monitor. You can click on each pin to see their watershed name and the number of their monitoring stations, which is linked to a map of each of those monitoring stations. You can click on the pins in the second map and see a station's DNR station ID, the number of years is has been monitored for, and the number of times is has been monitored. This is how it looks and works:

This time I also used data from Wisconsin's Citizen-Based Water Monitoring Network so it includes additional participants and sites. It also includes data collected during 2009 whereas, last time, I only used data through 2008.

For those wondering about my actual workflow, I received the new data in a two-tabbed Excel spreadsheet. I loaded each tab to their own MySQL table (via LOAD DATA INFILE) and generated static HTML with PHP scripts (using PEAR MDB2).

Maybe the next step is to add overlays to visually represent the actual data collected?