The last Government set out to make lots of data (held by its various Departments and Agencies) open source under its ‘Open Data’ programme. In our field of flood awareness and preparedness raising, the easier flooding information is to access, the easier it is to convince those at risk to take on board our advice.
In a previous blog, we’ve made mention of the way Shoothill have taken data from the 2,500 river monitoring stations around England and Wales, managed and operated by the Environment Agency, and produced a couple of really useful websites: CheckMyFloodRisk.co.uk and GaugeMap.co.uk. The former does what it says on the tin whilst the latter lets you a) find the river monitor best suited to your location and b) follow it on Twitter.
Now, not to be outdone, the same information is available via a Facebook app entitled, not surprisingly, FloodAlerts. The app allows you to monitor one location (enough for keeping up to date with the situation at home) in a similar format to the two websites mentioned above. So, when you're sharing updates with your friends you’re only pages away from maintaining flood awareness and resilience.
Go and have a look for yourself. I’m sure you’ll be suitably impressed.
FloodAlerts and Shoothill were featured in the Financial Times and on TechWorld at the beginning of June 2015 as one of the UKs top 12 innovative UK companies using open data. Other applications centre on transport, jobs, smart city planning and food supply chains. You can search for other UK Government Open Data – the range is quite wide.