Parameters hold all of the quantitative* data that you are collecting for this data source. There is an asterisk next to quantitative because you can showcase non-quantitative parameters but you need to assign number values to each label in order for the information to display on maps. This is important to remember when putting together your parameter list.

If you have information that you’re collecting that is NOT quantitative AND you don’t want to display it on a map, sit tight. You’ll put those fields into your Form. Forms and parameters go hand in hand, but the parameters lead this dance, so let’s focus here and building out your parameters first. This will keep us from stepping on the toes of Form functionality.

BUILD YOUR PARAMETER LIST

Whether you bootstrapped you parameters upon data source creation or are building your list manually, there are some clean-up points to the set up that must be done. When you build your parameter list you are more or less building your own database within Water Reporter. Future data entry will be fully contingent on what information you plug in here for your column headings and future outputs will be dependent on what you name your parameters. No pressure here, but precision is important.

To add a new parameter, click the green “+”.

General

Calculations keep calculations turned off

Column Name matches what you put into future templates. Don’t worry, as you build out your parameter list, Water Reporter is building your template.

Display Name indicates what will be seen on your Form and in any public-facing visualizations that you create with this data source through Water Reporter.

Alias This is like a second option for a display name, in case what you want to display in maps and charts differs from what you want to display in your Form.

Citation For data sources with a rigorous QA/QC process, to export to third-party data ingestors, to track details internally, or to share with audiences in your visualization language, you may want to add a link where more information on the parameter or collection methodology can be accessed.

Description The description is accessible through the parameter field on station card pop-ups for continuous monitoring and annual scorecard data source generated Maps.

Unit When a parameter has a measurement unit you’ll want to add it or select it from here.

Chart Settings

Enable charts and analytics turn this setting on if you want this parameter to be available on maps, station cards, and other Water Reporter analytics.

Scale refers to the number of decimal digits in a measurement value. By default Water Reporter does not set a specific scale.

Ranges

Add numeric ranges for lightweight visual data analysis. Create new categories with labels, descriptions, and logic conditions to provide additional context for your data. Each parameter can, and should, have multiple ranges - which you will add one by one. An important note is that range conditions are only AND not OR.

When you create a new range by clicking “+ Add range” you are defining a range that captures values that meet your defined conditions. Any values that fall in the range you prescribe will appear on visualizations with the defined label.

Here are the steps to create your ranges within a parameter.

Label is what will display on the legend and station card when the data point falls within the prescribed range.

Color color of the station and all readings in that parameter grouping.

Description an internal reference to to keep you and your fellow owners on the same page

Lower bound

  1. Select Operation can be greater than (or equal to), less than (or equal to), or (not) equal to
  2. Value enter the value to indicate when this label is relevant.

Upper bound

Only enter an upper bound limit and value if the range is sandwiched between two bounds. Do not use the Upper Bound field if this range is the highest one in your list. Threshold line activates a line on the chart along the upper bound of a defined range.

Practice makes perfect so let’s take a look at three scenarios for parameter ranges.

First, let's look at pH - a common water chemistry parameter with three ranges, two wings that are “stressed” and an “optimum” middle range.

pH Chart Settings

Next up is a parameter with a single value that matters. If the value is below a point, you want one label, and above that point, you want a different label.

eColi Chart Settings

A common use of indicators is to create a scorecard. Let’s look at a hypothetical “scoring” scenario for a Water Quality Index. You’ll have to make a leap of faith here that the some calculations were done on this parameter, but you can replicate this same labelling with actual readings for specific parameters, no problem.

Water Quality Index Chart Settings

A common use of indicators is to create a scorecard. Let’s look at a hypothetical “scoring” scenario for a Water Quality Index. You’ll have to make a leap of faith here that the some calculations were done on this parameter, but you can replicate this same labelling with actual readings for specific parameters, no problem.

Last but not least is how to label parameters when you’re aiming to share non-quantitative results. As Water Reporter currently operates, your data inputs into a parameter must numerical. Therefore, if you want to collect non-numerical data but display it you’ll need to assign it values. See how it can be done, like in the Cloud Cover example below.

NOTE: In this scenario the collector will need to enter in the value not the label when submitting his or her observation.

Cloud Cover

After you have added all of your parameters and ranges, you are ready to launch to whatever step you want to complete next. Commons options are to build out your data collection for further, start importing historical or ongoing data, or build a map with this information (assuming that you have data).

To import your data after building your import form, you’ll need to use a .csv import template. Navigate to the “Import” tab. Then scroll down to tap the button to download a custom CSV import template constructed from your parameter and stations list.

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