User Manual
Quick guide for reading a chart

Go Hydrology may look like a blog …

But it actually started as a charting project.

Instructions manuals can come in handy

The original goal: Create hydrographs that really make the data pop. Now, by pop, I mean bringing the data to life. You see, a number or a line by itself is really just a number (or line), and really not that useful at all, or as useful as it could be. What good is it knowing a wetland level in feet above sea level if what’s really important is the “water depth” in the nearby slough. And how long does that slough stay wet each year? And how long does it stay that wet for a typical year, or the past five years?

With the above in mind I got to work doing a deep dive into the data to figure out what was possible and how to best graph it up. That included (1) locating the best index wells, (2) calculating the historic statistics for each site, (3) figuring out the key ecological and operational thresholds for the various areas (i.e. Everglades, Okeechobee, Big Cypress Swamp, etc. and (4) developing color codes and symbols for assorted chart types (i.e. hydrographs, bar charts, raster/calendar charts).

The charts and graphs are meant to serve up in the data in a format that makes everyone an “instant expert.” Or at a minimum, help experts and lay water enthusiasts visualize key trends.

The art of making a good hydrograph

However, for some the graphs are difficult to read. And even for everyone who can read them, it doesn’t hurt to discuss the underlying issues, philosophy and underlying assumptions that went into the making of each chart.

The goal of the OPS Manual is to go “behind the scenes” and shed light on how the charts were made and what they say.

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