The parameters you define lay down the foundation for your unique Flow output. The parameters are the items that you are collecting data for that you want to display through your interactive graph.
TIP: Due to their relationship in Flow, you need to enter in all of your parameters' units in the UNIT section prior to adding your actual parameters. Check out the Units article for details on that process.
Once you have all your units added to the system, it’s time to start adding your parameters. Each parameter you enter will be a column header in your template, so make sure that what you type in the column name field matches exactly what you put in your template. So, for example if the column name in Flow is written as conductivity_Sm then the column name in your template must be conductivity_Sm. The system will not read Conductivity or Conductivity_sm as the same thing between the system and your template uploads.
Let’s walk through all of the fields:
- Column name (required) Add in the exact characters that will be shown in your template’s column.
- Display name (required) This display name will appear throughout the interactive map for this parameter.
- Symbol If the parameter has a commonly-used symbol or chemical formula, you can add this here (e.g. NH3)
- Citation Add a link where people can learn more about this parameter.
- Description Explain the significance of this parameter. Descriptions can contain up to 500 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
- Form Instructions - In a future update, Flow will be linked to in-app forms that will allow approved observers to input data that shares directly to their Flow’s dataset. At this stage, you can input form instructions but they will not be shared anywhere but in this field.
- Unit Search for a unit that you inputted on the Units Tab. Depending on how many units you have in your database, you may need to type in the name of the unit for it to appear.
Once you have filled out all of your required and optional fields, click the green circle checkmark to save your information. The system does not automatically save data!
As you add more parameters, you will build a screen that catalogues all of your parameters and corresponding information. This is a great place to reference as you’re building your template.
Once you have added a parameter to the system, you can always click on the parameter name to revisit and edit all of the information. Just remember, if you make changes to the column name, you’ll need to make the same change in your template as well.
Parameter Tips and Reminders
- Column name in Flow must match the column name in your template exactly.
- If you have duplicates of a parameter, it might force an error in your data upload.
- Parameters can only capture quantitative data.
- You can add more parameters at any time, however you may need to readjust your template and scoring accordingly.