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November 2009 - Updates to web system

Particularly notable in this release is the reintroduction of streamflow channel characteristics, such as measured stream width, area, and velocity. These data were removed in July 2008 when our internal NWIS database was expanded to incorporate multiple channel streams. Your patience was appreciated while the USGS worked to extended this expansion to this system.

Many users have requested the ability to "bookmark" a hydrograph so it can be embedded in their own web pages. With this release, this is now possible.

Also in this release, time-zone information will accompany all time-series data. Time-zone information will appear both in web pages and in downloaded tab-delimited files. Users with automatic retrieval programs should revise programs as necessary to accommodate the time-zone information using samples files identified below.

    1. Streamflow channel characteristic information - This information will be available after each individual USGS Water Science Center (WSC) upgrades their software and pushes up the channel information to the web. This process will begin November 23, 2009.
      • Users now have the option to retrieve channel level information from field streamflow measurements. Note that an individual streamflow measurement can include data from one or more channels. The following channel level data are provided (although many fields will be missing for measurements made prior to 2009):
        - channel number
        - channel name
        - channel measurement type
        - channel discharge measurement method
        - channel velocity measurement method
        - channel discharge
        - channel width
        - channel velocity
        - channel area
        - channel type
        - channel longitudinal velocity description
        - channel horizontal velocity description
        - channel location code
        - channel location distance

        See the streamflow measurement help section for more information on the fields and their possible values -
    2. Time Zone Datum
      • Streamflow, groundwater, or other current condition data tables will now have the time-zone information added to the datetime column. The time zone shown is the time zone used at the measurement site. The time zone is still not displayed on graphs
        • Example: Current Instantaneous values tab separated output format.
          • agency_cd         site_no         datetime         14_00065         14_00065_cd
          • 5s         15s         16d         14n         10s
        • Example: New Instantaneous values tab separated output format.
          Use as an example site with new tz_cd to test your automated retrieval scripts.
          • agency_cd         site_no         datetime         tz_cd 14_00065         14_00065_cd
          • 5s         15s         16d         6s 14n         10s
        • The Time Zone is still not displayed on graphs
    3. Improved Site location graph
      • The outdated TIGER Maps on the site map pages have been replaced with Google Maps, including an optional USGS map base. This should make it much easier to find where sites are located.
      • More work will be done to better integrate the Mapper with this web system in the future.
    4. Persistent URL for graphs
      • Purpose:   Provide a persistent URL to graphs of the most recent USGS current condition water data suitable for inclusion in a HTML image tag on user-defined web pages.
      • Usage:<args>

        ...where <args> are:

        agency_cd=   Agency code for site
        (if omitted default = USGS)

        site_no=     USGS site number to match
        (required argument -- error if omitted)

        parm_cd=     USGS parameter code
        (required argument -- error if omitted)

        period=      Include data for the previous "period" days
        (if omitted default = 7)

        help        Display this text

        Example URL:

        Example image tag:

        <img src="" width="576" height="400" alt="USGS Water-data graph" />

      • This URL will not be active until the web site has been upgraded.
    5. Other miscellaneous updates
      • New Help link has been added to the footer on every page.
      • The title "National Water Information System: Web Interface" in the banner now links to the home page for the web site.
      • Addressed problem of not being able to search by drainage area with Internet Explorer
      • Well depth information is again displayed on site summary information
      • Addressed bug where site number links were not working when trying to obtain daily, monthly, or annual statistics
      • Added help text for the Search Criteria "parameter code file attachment"
      • Gage datum of "0" is now displayed as appropriate
      • Added new current condition parameter codes:
        • Parameter code: 72172 - Wave height, Fourier transformation, feet
        • Parameter code: 72173 - Wave period, Fourier transformation, seconds