GaugeMap and FloodAlerts: Lessons from mapping river data applied to custom software

9th of April 2024

What are GaugeMap and FloodAlerts?

Both of these systems are two of Shoothill’s highest profile, publicly accessible systems. Live to this day they exemplify how Shoothill can solve real problems, with expert design and software development. Skills that we rely on every day in our work with businesses, locally and internationally as we seek out new ways to increase their profitability. Read on to find out how we did it and why these platforms matter.

FloodAlerts was the UK’s first live and interactive flood warning map, that went on to win the 2012 Guardian Innovation Nation Awards. By mid-summer 2012 the country was experiencing massive flooding so Shoothill released FloodAlerts as a standalone web app. The site was funded and hosted by Shoothill and launched on 6 July 2012. Within three hours the app was featured on the BBC website’s frontpage. The website went truly viral, with over 3 million views a day, due to its unique nature at the time; another ‘first’ for Shoothill.

GaugeMap, launched in 2014 would go on to win the Open Data Innovation Award. The first live river level and tidal map for England, Wales and Scotland ever developed. GaugeMap not only gives end users a holistic view of the live river level situation across the entire country, but it also allows them to drill down to the individual gauges in incredible detail, embed them into other web pages, and even follow them individually on Twitter.

How do GaugeMap and FloodAlerts Work?

Both systems automatically gather data from the Environment Agency and represent them accurately reflecting the latest river conditions.

Our systems visualize this data on an intuitive map interface, allowing users to explore river levels and flow patterns.

Using cloud-based technology, Shoothill delivers river gauge data through over 600 Twitter accounts. Users can subscribe to specific Twitter accounts corresponding to individual gauges, staying informed about water levels in their areas.

We provide a widget for groups such as rowing and yachting clubs to display water levels on their website, so they have access to the information they need to ensure safety. This is very easy to set up on a website, with a singular line of code to embed the widget, available in GaugeMap itself.

Why are GaugeMap and FloodAlerts important to what we do now?

Shoothill’s GaugeMap isn’t just about rivers; it’s a testament to our expertise in data visualization and software development. You can read more about this in our case studies of the projects, each of these showcases how Shoothill can solve a very real problem with intelligent, outcome-driven software development.

GaugeMap helps communities understand and mitigate flood risks. By tracking river levels, people can take timely precautions. Various groups all reap the benefits of our data visualisation tool. This includes but is not limited to researchers, kayakers, and canoeists who all gain insights into water conditions.

Shoothill’s FloodMap is a testament to our ingenuity, dedication, and ability to turn data into actionable insights. Every winter we see a sizeable increase in website traffic as users look for accurate information regarding flooding. Be that checking their route to work, deciding on which way to walk their dog, and unfortunately checking to see if their homes and business are at risk.

A decade on from these systems we still get lots of attention for these systems. However our business has changed, we now apply the same methodology to resolving problems and inefficiencies in businesses. Moving businesses away from legacy systems and spreadsheets, to bespoke custom software applications tailored to their business. Drawing on our talents in data visualisation to provide them with comprehensive data insights. Utilising our development talent to develop technological solutions to questions.

Get in touch with the team at Shoothill here to begin growing your business.