Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mobile Water

USGS Mobile Site
Like most river anglers, I keep a keen eye on the USGS' water gages*. I have a bunch bookmarked and I also use the handy map of each state. I know there's a way to create a custom table, I just never bothered to do it though maybe I should.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the USGS now has a mobile site designed especially for smartphones. I've been using it a bit and aside from one thing I'd like changed, it's pretty handy. I use it on an iPhone. If you're using it on an Android device, your mileage may vary.


One thing that I like is that you can develop a list of favorites. Once you've looked at the detail of a gage you can save it to a list of favorites (button at the top of the screen). This then allows you to quickly get to the details of the gages you look at frequently. The measurements for each gage also provide you with access to graphs of the last seven days of data.

The site is in beta now and has its quirks. For example, it doesn't remember that you've given it permission to use your location. It's inconvenient to keep telling it it's okay, but not overly onerous.

Details about a gage*
Also, when you select a site on the map the little pop-up window shows you information about the site (e.g. it's name, number and type) but it doesn't show any data being recorded there. In order to see data like streamflow, you need to select the link in the pop-up window.

So what one thing would I like changed? I'd like the little pop-up windows on the map to have some actual data in it, most notably, streamflow. That said, I'm using the map less and less now that I have a list of favorite sites created. If you're a streamflow junkie, I highly recommend this site for your smartphone.

* Yes, I spell it "gauges" but the USGS insists on spelling it wrong.

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