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Rainfall maps at the move of a mouse

Monday, 17 January 2011 9:30 a.m.

Checking out where and when rain falls in the Bay of Plenty is now as easy as moving your computer mouse across a page, with the introduction of a new feature on Bay of Plenty Regional Council's website.

As part of the Regional Council's live monitoring data, a visual representation of the region's rainfall based on monthly averages can now be accessed.

Group Manager Technology and Economic Development Miles McConway said the feature was just one way in which the Regional Council was working to make the information it collects for its statutory monitoring purposes useful to the general public also.

"The information is vital to our day to day business, however it's the additional ways in which it can be used that we're also interested to know," Mr McConway said. "We're sure it has greater value to be leveraged from it by the wider community, be that in economic, social, cultural or environmental uses".

Glenn Ellery, Data Services Manager at the Regional Council said it was great to be able to present the data they get from the monitoring stations in a visual, meaningful way.

"Whether it's a school pupil doing an assignment or a farmer wanting to look at rainfall patterns across a set period, we hope this enhancement will enable them to use and analyse the information as they need to," Mr Ellery said.

The map also displays information about where each month's rainfall data fits against the monthly or annual average for each monitoring site.

"We're excited about this development and hope to be able to extend this type of visual reporting to other areas of our monitoring data," Mr Ellery said. "We're also interested to hear from people who use this information and find out what they use it for, as we may be able to present other data we collect in a similarly useful manner."

Bay of Plenty Regional Council's live monitoring information includes rainfall, river level, air quality and coastal wave information.

It can be accessed here Live Monitoring.

Rainfall monitoring Glenn E with umbrella 2010 lowres