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VICGMN Well Water Level Database

Frequently Asked Questions

At the moment, these are anticipated FAQs.

Basics

What is this site?
The Vancouver Island Community Groundwater Monitoring Network is a project to allow volunteers to collect information about the state of groundwater by monitoring private wells.
How do I get involved?
The system will be undergoing a small scale test in the Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley Regional Districts. Contact Alan Gilchrist for more information.
What data is gathered?
At present, only the depth of the water is recorded.
How will the collected data be used?
The data will be used by the Vancouver Island Water Resource Vulnerability Mapping Project to identify at risk of contamination or other hazards. This will help guide land use decisions such as municipal zoning. The data will also be freely available for other uses.
How do I use the map on the main page?
Why don't I see any maps or graphs?
These features require Javascript; make sure you have it enabled. If you are using a security extension like NoScript, you may have to add VICGMN to your whitelist.

Trust/Vetting

What is "vetting"?
To ensure that the data is being measured and entered correctly, normal users will be checked by a "trusted" user every 6 months. Any levels recorded by a "vetted" or "trusted" user will be marked as "trusted".
I'm a trusted user, how do I vet a user?
You will have to physically visit a well with them and watch them make their measurement to ensure it is done correctly. Repeat it yourself and take note of the result. Once the user has entered the measurement in the database, go to the Well Profile page, and click on the "Vet" link for the record in question if it is correct.
I'm a trusted user and I clicked vet by mistake, how do I undo it?
Click the "Unvet" link beside your name in the record table.

Data

How do I download the levels for a well?
You can get the levels in a Comma Seperated Value file from the "Download" link on the well profile page.
How do I get all of the data
The Download page has the well features as a zipped ESRI Shapefile and as GML as well as a Comma Seperated Value file with the levels for every well.
What are these formats and what programs can load them?
Shapefiles and GML files hold information about things that have a location on the earth's surface. They can be loaded into GIS software like QuantumGIS, which is available for free. CSV is just a table and can be loaded by most spreadsheet software, OpenOffice.org includes one and is also free.

Monitoring

How do I add a well I intend to monitor?
I know the Property ID of my parcel, how do I find the Well Tag number of my well?
On the Create Well page, enter the PID in the appropriate box and submit. You will be shown a drop down box with a list of all the wells on that property, and a map. You can click on the map to select a well, or select one from the drop down list. Submit when you have the right well.
How do I record the level of the water in my well?
How do I get a list of my wells?
Click on your user name at the top of the page to view your account profile, including a list of your wells.

Technical

What software was VICGMN built with?
The core of the application is built with Java runing in an Apache Tomcat container with PostgreSQL and PostGIS providing storage. WMS and WFS are provided by Geoserver also running in Tomcat. The client side map and graphing is provided by OpenLayers and JQuery Flot respectively. The estimated waterlevel map is generated using GDAL. All of the software used is Open Source/Free Software. VICGMN itself may be released as Open Source as well in the future.
Why are measurements in centimetres and litres rather than metres and cubic metres?
Centimetres and litres are more familiar to people outside technical fields and provide the desired precision at integral values.