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Sunday Paddlers

New AW Page Critique
Author Last Post
(posted 8 Nov. - TEMP)

Jenny Thomas

Oct 31, 2019, 11:02 PM (8 days ago)
Hello Kevin,

I was just looking at the AW gauges for Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to see what was happening given all the rain we are now getting.  I was discouraged to see that the data has not been updated for over 20 hours so, once again, the AW river gauges are not useful for me.  For those who are less experienced, the time the gauges were last updated is not immediately apparent or available on the state summary page.  This could be dangerous for someone who gets on a river not having current water level information.  

As I reviewed our thread from last spring, I have noted that most of the issues raised by my fellow boaters and friends have not been addressed (see below).  For a time, I was going to the AW river gauges as just a way to work my way to the USGS Source Gauge page, but I do not see any benefit of visiting AW’s  river gauging summaries any more.  The old system that was a critical tool for any boaters quiver has been replaced by something that is much less useful.  I think that many boaters have been members of AW mainly because of the value of the gauging information.  I suspect that AW will lose members because it is no longer useful for them.  This is regrettable.

Jennifer Thomas

Tony Allred

Nov 1, 2019, 10:22 AM (7 days ago)
Kevin & Jenny,

I also have noticed (actually some time ago) that there are often significant delays in the updating of gauges on the AW site, and further, that this is not apparent, unless you click into the flow link and happen to notice the "flow rate as of 'x' hours ago."  This in addition to the other gauging and presentation issues that have been previously raised and are still unaddressed.  Because, since the web update, the gauge presentation on the AW pages are so consistently misleading, in my swiftwater rescue class in August, I began teaching that paddlers should go to the USGS pages and not the AW page for gauge information.  You can't promulgate inaccurate, confusing and misleading information on the web for almost a year without losing your audience.  In this sense, the damage is already done. 

Tony Allred Jr.

Kevin Colburn

Nov 1, 2019, 1:03 PM (7 days ago)
Hi Jenny, 

Thanks for the heads up. I have our programmer looking into what is going on with the lag time and working to fix it. This should be a bug rather than anything systemic, however occasional interruptions have always and will always be an issue.  Here are a few updates for the crew regarding things mentioned above. 
  • Custom gage ranges. These are in place on the next update of the site that we are testing now. We recognize this is a need.  
  • Flow data tables: these are on the flow tabs. 
  • Links to gages go to the correct gage. 
Big picture we are investing a lot into our website right now. We are doing a lot of invisible back-end upgrades to modernize and simplify the code. The new site design already works well on mobile devices, is vastly easier to contribute river page content to, and has better mapping. We are working improve on issues like the ones you are raising, redesigning our safety page, integrating a more useful mapping interface, and making the apps work (and work well). This has been a huge lift for AW given the complexity and age of the site and our limited capacity. We are striving to deliver the best site as soon as possible. 

Thanks again for the feedback, and I certainly understand and hear your frustration. 
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