Dreamflows River Flows
 
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Help - River Flows - Map Format

Index
Navigating Between Flow Pages
Disclaimer
General Map Usage
Reloading Flow Data, Re-Positioning Map, Hiding Side Panel
Track Pop-Up Dialog Boxes
Gauge Pop-Up Dialog Boxes
Display Tracks/Gauges
Select Regions
Select Difficulty
Display Flows
Select by Name
Select by Distance
Combination Search
Browser Compatibility
Known Issues

Navigating Between Flow Pages

To access the river flows pages, click the River Flows link in the header of a Dreamflows page, and select the report of interest.  The most-visited flow page is the Realtime page.

Three drop-down menus and a Go button appear just below the page header, default Map page values shown here:

Together, they control the content and display format of the flow information being presented:

After making your selection, click the Go button.
Clicking on the icon brings you to this help page.
For more detailed information on each field, click here.

Disclaimer

The disclaimer is printed in the gray area between the navigation menus and the list of Dreamflows sponsors.  It gives pertinent information about the quality of the information presented on the page, and is specific to the data presented on that page.  It should be read in conjunction with the "Estimate Information" section near the bottom of the flow report.

Both are intended to be taken literally.  Please heed them!

General Map Usage

On entering the map page, the information displayed is dependent on the selections made in the side panel (right of the map), described below.  Runs are displayed as color-coded 'tracks'

while gauges are displayed as color-coded 'balloons'

The possible color codes and their meanings are listed in the Key to Symbols section at the bottom of the map page.  The number of tracks and gauges currently displayed on the map is reported at the bottom of the side panel.

When you visit this page for the first time on a given browser, all checkboxes are checked, but only tracks (i.e. no gauges) are selected.  Thereafter your settings are remembered from session to session.

To get basic information about a run or gauge, hover the mouse over its track or balloon.  This will bring up a transient dialog box.  Move the mouse to close the box.

To get more detailed information about a run or gauge, click on its track or balloon.  This will bring up a dialog box which persists even after you move the mouse away; see the Pop-Up sections below for details on what each field means.  Click the 'X' in the dialog box to close it.

The side panel controls what information is displayed.  The first section determines what kinds of marker are drawn on the map (tracks, balloons, dotted lines, run marker lines).  The remaining sections control which tracks or gauges are selected.  Each section has the potential to limit the selection, so that a given track or gauge is displayed if, and only if, it passes all tests in all sections.  Unless otherwise stated, the map is re-zoomed and re-positioned to fit the selected data each time you change your selection.

It is easy to end up with nothing selected and therefore nothing displayed.  For instance there are no Class V or VI runs reported by Dreamflows in Arizona, and there are often no gauges (or runs) at optimum flow.  If no gauges/tracks appear on the map (but you expect them to), check the selections in the side panel.

Reloading Flow Data, Re-Positioning Map, Hiding Side Panel

There's a trio of buttons above the map side panel:

Click the left button to re-load flow information.  All transient data (flows, weather icons, track and gauge color-codings, etc) is updated without redrawing or repositioning the map.  If you have a pop-up dialog box open at the time, its contents will be updated too.  While the data is loading, a circling image appears to the left of the reload button for about half a second (or until the data finishes reloading, if that takes longer).

Click the middle button to re-zoom and reposition the map to fit the selected data.  Use this when you've manually zoomed and/or moved the map and you want to get back to a high-level view.

Click the right button to hide the side panel.  The map widens to match, and the button image changes.  Click the right button to make the side panel visible again.

Track Pop-Up Dialog Boxes

When the mouse is hovered over a track, a transient pop-up dialog box appears, while clicking on the track brings up a persistent pop-up dialog box with more information.

For example consider this snapshot of the South Fork American River:

To the right (color-coded yellow) is the Chili Bar run, in the center (color-coded green) is the C to G run, while on the left (color-coded yellow) is The Gorge run.  On the far right is the balloon showing the location of the Chili Bar gauge

The flow range for the Chili Bar gauge has been chosen to match the most popular runs in this section, which are Chili Bar and The Gorge, so in this case it's color-coded yellow to match.  Nevertheless, the flow on the C to G run is considered good, so its track is color-coded green.

Hovering over the C to G track brings up this transient dialog box:

In this case, the River and Reach fields are color-coded green, since the flow is considered good for this particular run.

However, the Gauge field and corresponding flow (596 cfs) are both color-coded yellow to match the current Chili Bar gauge color.

Clicking on the C to G track brings up this persistent dialog box, which is the same as the hover box but with additional links:

The meaning of the various fields and links is as follows:

Gauge Pop-Up Dialog Boxes

When the mouse is hovered over a balloon, a transient pop-up dialog box appears, while clicking on the balloon brings up a persistent pop-up dialog box with more information.

For example consider this snapshot of the South Fork American River:

The balloon showing the location of the Chili Bar gauge is on the far right.  The flow range for the gauge has been chosen to match the most popular runs in this section (Chili Bar and The Gorge), so the gauge balloon is color-coded yellow to match.

Hovering over the Chili Bar gauge balloon brings up this transient dialog box:

The dialog box appears just to the right of the gauge balloon, i.e. the balloon on the far right represents a different gauge.  The Chili Bar gauge balloon is color-coded yellow since the flow on this section of the river is considered low.

In the pop-up, the Gauge field and its corresponding flow (596 cfs) are both color-coded yellow to match the Chili Bar balloon color.

Clicking on the Chili Bar gauge balloon brings up this persistent dialog box, which is the same as the hover box but with additional information:

The meaning of the various fields and links is as follows:

Display Tracks/Gauges

The top section of the map side panel determines what kinds of marker/track are drawn on the map:

The meaning of the various radio buttons and checkboxes is as follows:

The map is not auto-zoomed or repositioned when you switch between any of these modes of operation.

To illustrate dots/crumbs/runs, the map on the right (which has them all enabled) makes it easier to recognize drainages, see where rivers run, and distinguish runs which are next to each other but have the same color-coding:
 

Select Regions

Which regions are listed depends on which zone you select.  The default is California/Nevada:

Select the regions you want displayed.  There can be overlap close to a state border (for example the East Fork Carson is listed under both CA Sierra - East Slope and Nevada Rivers).

Select Difficulty

In the following, each class includes its variants, i.e. IV matches IV-, IV and IV+Class I includes Flatwater:

If all checkboxes are checked then all runs are selected, even those which don't have a known difficulty rating.  Otherwise, only runs matching the checked items are selected.

For example a run which is rated Class II+ to IV (V) will be selected if Class II, or Class III, or Class IV is checked.  However, checking Class V won't by itself cause the run to be selected, since the (V) is a warning and not part of the difficulty rating (it's expected that most will portage the class V, thereby making the run II+ to IV).

Conversely, if you checked only Class II and Class V, then only Class II and Class V runs are selected.  You might want to do this if you have Class II and Class V paddlers in your group and you're looking for runs appropriate for both sub-groups.

When Display only gauges in the top section is selected, then no tracks are displayed, so the Select Difficulty section is disabled.

Select Flows

In the following, both gauges and tracks are selected based on their current color-coding:

The meaning of each radio button is as follows:

Select by Name

In the following, both gauges and tracks are selected based on their name:

Enter an appropriate search string in the text box, then click the Go button.  For illustration, assume you've entered American Slab in the text box and that the Search only on river name checkbox is not checked.  Then:

Lastly, assume you've entered Salmon in the text box and that the Search only on river name checkbox is checked.  In that case, only the part of the gauge or run name to the left of the hyphen is considered, so that Salmon River - Nordheimer Run is matched, but South Fork American River - The Gorge (Greenwood Creek to Salmon Falls Road) is not.

Select by Distance

In the following, both gauges and tracks are selected based on their distance from a location that you specify:

Note: this is the distance "as the crow flies", not distance by road.  Enter an appropriate address, city name or ZIP code in the text box, then click the Go button.  The entry needs to be unique within the Western U.S. or the system will complain.  For example, just "Auburn" isn't specific enough, but "Auburn, CA" is.

To reduce absurdities which would result from entering very small, very large, or invalid values, the distance value is limited to the range 10 to 2000 miles.

The following shows gauges and tracks within 40 miles of Auburn, CA.  A circle of radius 40 miles is drawn on the map, with the icon marking Auburn.  Gauges which lie within the circle, and tracks whose put-in or take-out are within the circle, are selected:

For the above search, we selected Display crumbs so we could see how tracks related, but wanted an uncluttered look so didn't Display runs, nor did we display gauges.

Combination Search

The following builds on the previous 40-mile search around Auburn, CA, but selects

The result is:

Crumbs are designed to link up related runs, but since only some runs are displayed crumbs would be confusing.  To avoid this we unchecked Display crumbs.  However, we want to locate individual runs now, so checked Display runs.

Browser Compatibility

The Dreamflows mapping system is oriented toward conventional desktop computers with keyboard and mouse.  It was developed (and extensively tested) using Firefox on Ubuntu, and tested on Chrome, Safari and Opera.

It also works fine on IE11 when not in Compatibility View.  [Compatibility View tells Microsoft browsers to not be standards compliant, which bad behavior we don't want here]. 

The conclusion is that the mapping system will work on any modern standards-compliant browser.  If you have a browser which doesn't work as expected, suggest upgrading.

Known Issues

The following are known issues:

  1. The Dreamflows mapping system uses the Google Maps API to draw the maps, balloons, etc.  The API redraws the map several times as it zooms from one map view to another, which produces a pretty cool effect when the Internet connection is fast enough.  However, if you have a slow Internet connection (dialup, or over VPN or whatever) you get to see the redraws in slo-mo and it doesn't look so cool.  Suggest waiting patiently as the balloons get tiny, then huge, then normal, and the picture gets blurry then sharp.  Eventually the redraws will stop and the end result should be as expected.

  2. The Dreamflows mapping system is oriented toward conventional desktop computers with keyboard and mouse.  Operation with touch-screen devices like the iPad and smart phones may be limited.

Issues only get fixed when they're known, so: if you notice any other issues, please contact chris@dreamflows.com.  Thanks!

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