We Just Integrated Mapbox Styles with Water Reporter

Showcasing your data on maps offer an excellent medium for sharing your important stories. To that end, our development team at the Commons just released a light integration to make Mapbox styles available for our Water Reporter users.

Building tech that streamlines map construction

Water Reporter offers two types of maps to subscribers: a general map of all observations or posts shared to your organization and a customizable map of monitoring stations displaying chemical and bacteria monitoring data as well as their associated trends. Subscribers are able to embed these maps into their website to merchandize their monitoring programs and work on the ground. The maps continuously communicate broad efforts and can be used to encourage more: more volunteers, more dollars, more understanding of their work and their watersheds.

Taking all of this a step further we are in the process of making all of our mission focused products highly configurable and our Mapbox integration with Water Reporter is the first step to a much bigger picture. Basemaps, or the background map setting, throughout the Water Reporter mobile and web applications have always been powered by MapBox. You’ve probably become quite familiar with our standard choice for our maps. But we want to support the individual who wants something a little different. With our integration, users can choose from a variety of pre-packaged map styles. This is a great way to customize how your Water Reporter map shows up in your website with the least of amount of effort.

Basemap options care of Water Reporter’s MapBox integration

For those that love map design and create their own custom styles in Mapbox, we’ve got you covered as well. Copy and paste your style ID and Mapbox Token into Water Reporter’s map creator and your style will be made instantly available for use.

Display watershed boundaries

One way to connect with a broader audience is to subtly educate them on the key pieces of information they need to effectively participate. When you’re talking about water quality improvement or river health — showing people their watershed helps facilitate their “ah ha!” moment without them having to ask the “Where’s my watershed” question.

On maps you can now add any combination of watershed boundaries you need HUC8, 10, or 12 level. The delineations will appear under any station or observation points on your map and are based off of the USGS National Hydrography Dataset.

The Anacostia Watershed is home to a lot of restoration efforts attempting to improve the health of this urban, severely impaired watershed.

Filter your posts

Whether you want to narrow your organization’s posts by hashtag, keyword, or campaign, our team has rolled out easy to use tools to filter your map content and control the flood of posts.

Filter crowdsourced content coming into your Water Reporter maps by keyword, hashtag, or campaign.

Running a campaign through Water Reporter? You can get all of those posts up on an independent map to show participants, get more participants, or do some good old fashioned analysis.

Izaak Walton League of America hosted a Winter Salt Watch Campaign to document the levels of chloride in streams near winter salt applications. This map displays all posts received through this effort in 2018.

What’s the Same?

As always, you can add a map to your website with all observations shared to your organization. The website visitors can click on any of the icons and see a larger image of the photo.

If you are displaying your water quality monitoring data, you can still do that. If you score it, great — we can show off those scores on the map itself. No scores? No problem, a gray pinpoint will appear for every station location and all of associated current and trend data is just a click away.

ShoreRivers Water Watch Volunteers collect water quality monitoring data across the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They can report the health of the rivers at each monitoring location by using both Water Reporter’s data management and visualization features.

Whenever you want to share your maps to social media or within the Water Reporter community, simply write a note and push share from the map page.

When you’re in the “edit maps view” scroll down, add a note, and press the blue button to share your map in a post to the Water Reporter Community
This is what it looks like when you share a map to Water Reporter!

Check out the difference for yourself

Below are two examples of how the new Map features yield more descriptive, navigable, and informative maps.

Calusa Waterkeeper

The Calusa Waterkeeper and their volunteer Rangers have been using Water Reporter to compile qualitative and quantitative data surrounding the ongoing, debilitating cyano-algal bloom outbreak in Florida. The photos have proved invaluable for documenting the status of the issue and getting geo-located photos in front of the media, the public, and politicians. With Maps, these photos now have another purpose as a digital, live atlas of the issue.

Calusa Waterkeeper general Water Reporter posts with the old version of Maps.
Calusa Waterkeeper’s Calusa Secchi Campaign entries using the upgraded map features to improve the story told by the map.

Friends of Casco Bay

Friends of Casco Bay has a dedicated group of volunteers conducting a variety of citizen science campaigns. While some observe water colors others are busy taking samples of water to test the health of the water at specific monitoring stations. By simply adding the boundaries of the Casco Bay watershed to this map, audiences can better understand how activities across a wide area might impact the health of their water elsewhere.

Friends of Casco Bay monitoring stations on the original Water Reporter Flow map.
Monitoring Stations in relation to the Casco Bay watershed boundaries created using the Map 2.0 feature.

Build your own map

Start building your own map by making sure that you have a subscription account to Water Reporter. Then, use our handy help guide to get started. Don’t forget to share some of your favorite creations with our team so we can highlight them to the entire community!