Frequently Asked Questions
At the moment, these are anticipated FAQs.
- 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?
- You can drag the map with your mouse to pan, or use the arrow buttons in the upper left.
- You can zoom with your scrollwheel, using the buttons under the pan buttons, or by holding shift and dragging a box arround the area you want to see.
- You can click on the plus button in the upper right to display a list of the layers in the map. You can switch the layers on and off.
- You can click on a well (An orange dot) to display information about it. The "Details" link will take you to the well's profile page.
- Why don't I see any maps or graphs?
- 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.
- 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.
- How do I add a well I intend to monitor?
- From the front page, choose Create Well
- If you know the Well Tag Number, enter that in the first box and submit.
- If you don't know the WTN, but do know the Property ID of the parcel it's on, follow these instructions for finding a WTN based on a PID.
- If your well has not been given a Well Tag Number, choose the "Pick a Point" option.
- Fill in the form. If you used a WTN, the form should be at least partly filled in allready.
- Be sure about the information before submitting the form. You will not be able to change it later. once it is submitted. If you make a mistake or the well changes, contact an administrator.
- When you submit, the well will be added to the database and you will be taken to its profile page.
- 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?
- On the profile page for the select "Add Measurement".
- Enter the depth that you recorded.
- Enter the date that you measured the level.
- Enter any extra notes if there was anything unusual to add.
- Make sure everything is correct as you will not be able to change it later.
- Submit the form
- 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.
- 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.