UKfloodsRiver Ouse bursts its banks, flooding river side buildings in York, North Yorkshire.
Data from the Environment Agency’s nationwide network of monitoring stations is being fed into web-based maps to give almost real-time updates as part of the FloodAlerts service.
Originally launched as a Facebook app, the award-winning FloodAlerts has been opened up to all web users today in response to the unseasonal amounts of rain expected across the UK in the coming hours and days. It can be accessed now at www.shoothill.com/flood and can be used by individuals and businesses alike.
Created by Shoothill of Shrewsbury and licensed to the Environment Agency, the system allows anyone to zoom in on any point of the UK map to see flood alert and flood warning statuses, as issued by the EA within the previous 15 minutes. Custom searches can also be carried out by postcode.
Shoothill managing director, Rod Plummer, said: “We are expecting a crazy amount of rain today and in the coming days and the evidence of similar incidences in previous weeks tells us that floods are hitting places that haven’t seen such a thing for decades, sometimes with devastating and even tragic consequences.
“Lots of people have reason to be concerned, given the weather forecasts, so we have opened up FloodAlerts beyond Facebook, which was its launch platform, and now anyone can check it whenever and wherever they need to and still set up custom alerts in their Facebook account. Those alerts could be to monitor the area around their home, or perhaps their routes to and from work or their children’s schools. The same is true for businesses, perhaps especially those who need to keep fleets of vehicles moving as conditions get tough or need to keep a close eye on critical infrastructure.”
FloodAlerts was only launched in April this year but already has thousands of Facebook users who have turned to it during the array of recent flood incidents. In its short life it has already won a high profile national award for innovation, awarded by The Guardian newspapers and Virgin Media Business.
The system overlays Environment Agency data onto Microsoft Bing maps, making use of cloud computer power to scale seamlessly according to user demand and has been responding to surges in use even during the first hour since its launch.
Shoothill has earned a worldwide reputation for its ability to deliver big data presented in innovative ways that can bring information to life.