Thursday, August 27, 2020

A Million Australian Rivers

Australian Rivers and Streams is an interactive map of 1.3 million Australian watercourses.

One striking aspect of this map is that the Australian interior looks very wet. The deserts of the Australian outback appear to be very un-desert like on Australian Rivers and Streams. This is because the map shows both perennial and non perennial rivers. Australian Rivers and Streams includes a filter to turn off the non-perennial rivers. If you use this filter you can view the map without all the dryland rivers (the rivers which are dry for a lot of the year).

70% of Australia's rivers are ephemeral rivers. Some of these may only flow once every few years or even every few decades. If you select to view only the perennial rivers on the map then you get a very different (perhaps more accurate) picture of Australia.

There are many interactive maps visualizing rivers in the United States. Among my favorites is the Streamer interactive map. The USGS's Streamer map allows you to trace rivers or streams upstream to their source or downstream to their final destinations. The interactive map can create very dramatic visualizations of river watersheds, particularly when you trace a river upstream to show all of its tributaries.

Streamer is incredibly easy to use. Just click on a river on the map and select either the 'upstream' or 'downstream' buttons (for the best results click on the Mississippi and then the upstream button). You can also get a detailed trace report for your selected river. This report includes information on the river's origin, length and the number of states it flows through. It also provides details about the streamflow gauging (measuring) stations found along the selected river route.

Andrew Hill has created a map of all United States rivers in which the rivers are colored by the direction of flow. The U.S. Rivers Colored by the Direction they Flow map shows colored rivers on a black background to create a visually striking map of United States watercourses.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Below are a couple of interconnected Australian Waterway Citizen Science projects you might also like
Most of them also use GA or state river data

National Waterbug Blitz
Measuring river health via the presence of key macro invertebrates
Combines historic data with user submitted data via a phone app.

Waterwatch Victoria
Measuring water quality at monitoring sites across the state maintains by volunteer groups.

EstuaryWatch Victoria
Estuary conditions and photo points

River Detectives
Waterwatch citizen science for a primary school audience