All Things “Stations”
There is a lot of information to unpack regarding stations, parameters and forms. Rather than make an epically long single lesson, we’re breaking this down into each feature. While there may be some overlap by doing it this way, at least your eyes won’t be as crossed by the end of each section.
Stations are a critical component of continuous monitoring programs, so let’s start here.
When you have a data source with continuous monitoring programs you are feeding data into a fixed location. With data continuing to come in, Water Reporter will begin to build trend lines
ADDING (IMPORTING) STATIONS TO A NEW DATA SOURCE
I was going to call this “getting started” but how many times have you already read that phrase in different section of this guide? Instead, focus on adding new stations to your Continuous Monitoring data source. You will only need to add stations if you are building a data source where data will be entered at the same locations over time.
If you didn’t bootstrap in your stations on the “Create New Data Source” page, you can upload a file of stations from either the Summary Page (“Import Stations”) if the data source is still empty or from the Stations Page (“+”) if you have already entered some stations.
Use this handy template to see the columns of information and requisite column headers to include in your import file. And because we try to be as helpful as possible, here they are as well:
Station_id once you’ve created a station ID, it cannot be changed
So once you have your list of stations in a .csv import file with the correct headers, upload the file. The Stations will appear in your Stations list. Going forward all stations in this list will be available for selection in the data source’s form and should be used in data uploaded via template.
HOW STATIONS APPEAR ON MAPS
Let’s jump ahead ten steps to talk about visualizations before backing up and building out all of your station information.
Stations appear as clickable points on maps. They are the entry point to any parameters that you share through your visualizations. Without even clicking into a station, the point can convey a lot of information to a general audience. With some configuration in Data Sources, the stations will reflect the latest readings for the selected parameter and the indicator for that score.
When someone clicks on a station point a station card pops up. The station card can show current status as well as all of the latest readings AND trend lines for all parameters with collected data. So one little popup can pack a lot of information.
At this time, all of that information is collected and stored in the data source, so now that you know how the data is publicly displayed through stations, let’s walk through steps to get all of your station information set up,
BUILDING YOUR STATION INFORMATION
From your Station list, click on the a Station ID to enter into that station’s information. Let’s walk through what you can do on each tab.
Station and parameter scores
This field is relevant to any data sources that you have where you are showcasing annual scores. You will click in and enter the annual score for a specific parameter.
All stations default to public. Private stations are visible in the form for selection but will not appear on any maps where this data source appears.
Hibernated stations are still active and therefore appear on maps. Hibernation mode turns of indicators for latest readings. In the Maps settings you can set the color, shape, and size of hibernation stations so that they appear different than active stations.
Once created, a station’s ID cannot be changed.
Once created , a station’s Name can be changed. Make sure that if you are uploading new files you use the most current name in the upload.
The station description will appear on the station card. This is a great place to call out what sort of monitoring you do at this site or, if relevant, the organization that is doing the monitoring. Options are endless for what to put here, these are just two examples.
As you enter in more readings, a quick snapshot of what has been collected appears here.
The image appears as a banner on the station card in the data source map.
Water Reporter identifies your station within the HUC12 watershed where it appears. If you need to adjust the location using the pinpoint, you can do that. Make sure to use the updated coordinates in any future data uploads.
Chart setting options appear if your data source has parameters in it. Chart settings are parameter specific and should only be used if the ranges for a parameter differ by station. So, for instance, if you have tidal and non-tidal ranges for a specific parameter, you would need to assign the non-tidal ranges for all of the non-tidal stations within each applicable station settings. Station-set parameter ranges override those that are detailed in the parameters section. If this is sounding a bit confusing, go check out the lesson on Parameters and then return to this discussion.
So to set the range, first select the relevant parameter.
Click “+ Add range”.
Label name - assign a label to an indicator range.
Color - Type in a color or hexadecimal color code. This color will appear whenever a data point falls within the defined range that you’re about to set.
Description - This helps for your internal management.
Setting your range
Lower Bound - time to set your range! Enter in your operation and then the value.
Upper Bound - Only use an upper bound if your range is bookended. Ranges only work for AND conditions, not OR conditions. This means that if you have a pH range where >6.5 or <8.0 is “stressed” then you’ll need to create two separate ranges with a single lower bound.
That’s all you can do with your stations! As a parting piece of advice, remember that stations as discussed here are relevant to Continuous Monitoring and Annual Scoring Data Sources.