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What River App - Eh?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:52 pm
by SwamP
Who doesn’t have a smart phone? If so, ignore this post.

I’m not sure if an app already exists for this (because I can’t be bothered looking for one) but I think UKRGB would be as good a place to kick it off, in conjunction with SCA/BCU/Welsh equivalent involving sheep love.

Very simply, why isn’t there an app where you put in your rough location, the water conditions you have present, which then filters a list of possible rivers for you to paddle?
It’s the most simple of filtered spreadsheets to put together and no doubt just as easy for an app builder to chuck the database with filter onto a handy wee app.

Scottish App Requirements:
Location –
• South East Border
• South West Border
• Central West
• Central East
• Highland East
• Highland West
• Far North East
• Far North West
• Western Isles

Water Levels –
• Flood
• Spate
• Medium
• Low
• Scrape
• Bob Evans

Rivers –
List everything in the guidebook.


Pin Heed and Old Broken Wing started a list a wee while back but lost interest when BW became plural.
But surely someone fancies doing this and chucking out the app for all others.
SCA Recreational could do it? UKRGB could do it and generate funding via more advertising sponsorship? The Biggins’s could do it in conjunction with WTW. A wee ball-less name maker could do it to make himself known in the sport without running anything difficult. A TEAM could do it and get it embroidered on to their clothing. A shop could do it given there's not many in Scotland and they must have time on their hands. Or of course just a normal boater with some app building skills, an interest and time available.

It’s a win-win for whoever takes the interest.

The improvements could be that when online a gps could track where you are and pop up the rivers available nearby

You could add an additional field for Grade or Guidebook page.

I think the key thing should be that it’s completely free (if you charge you are a to$$er), usable when offline with no signal, aesthetically pleasing and above all simple to use.

Anyway I’m just a bit in disbelief that for the titanic boating, video editors out there, no one has spent their time building this hugely beneficial and no doubt popular simple wee app.

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:34 pm
by Poke
Although i imagine 99% of the traffic on rainchasers is for the river levels, it has a fair amount of that basic functionality...
i.e. try searching http://rainchasers.com/?q=grade+3+near+Llangollen
Some of the search results are a little clunky (probably too clever for it's own good), but it's a start.

Alternatively, choose your regionfor a geographic list of all rivers nearby, their grades and (if there's a gauge) whether they're running.

It's even got a rain radar incase you want to try to predict whether a non gauged run is up!

If you're on the page of a specific river you can then see what else is nearby if that river is:
Too easy/hard/low/high/short/long etc.

It may not cover scotland, but is that a good starter for 10?

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:16 pm
by SwamP
Never seen that link before Poke but it’s not a kick in the sack off of what we were thinking of.

However key difference would be in the situation of use:
You’ve got less than moderate knowledge of the region.
There has been some rain
You’re standing at the River Coe and there’s enough water to run the 20 minute gorge section but nothing upstream.
What else do you paddle within 1 hour drive if you want to avoid the Etive?

Pop up the app, filter your two selection fields:
West Highlands
Low
CLICK SEARCH

Database Returns List: Etive, Etive tribs etc, Spean gorge, Awe, etc
Jump in the van/estate car and off you go.

An app builder could do this for a country in a day, maybe two. If it was UKRGB then you could ask users to type up a full river list for a letter, then get people’s thoughts on water levels for each river to make it more accurate based on the experience of many not the few.

Obviously the more water you have the longer the list will be and need for a grading or link to the guidebook would come in handy, but these are just simple improvements.

Simple app, less than two days effort, available offline, reduces faff, increases river time. Sorted. 42

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:38 pm
by Notters
Dear Mr Ryan, I believe there is already an app available called uk rivers available on itunes and I'm sure it was free as I'm as tight as a ducks widget. It links to here, rainfall radar, maps with get in and out's gps, links to wow and rain chasers,

Worth a look!!

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:13 pm
by The Drowned Fish
I believe there is already an app available called uk rivers available on itunes and I'm sure it was free as I'm as tight as a ducks widget
I just paid 69 pence for this app. It appears to be a repackaged links to various websites; Where's the Water, Rain Chasers, Met Office and this one. There also is a Google map with quite a lot of rivers get ons marked on it. For some reason when I selected 'navigate to' for the closest one to me (Abingdon weir) it didn't recognise the location and suggested several other locations. The closest of these was 3600 miles away.

I wasn't that impressed to be fair.

Cheers
Simon

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:47 pm
by Notters
Taken from the App:


Instructions

This is the way I envision paddlers making best use of the app:

-Initially go to the Map View Tab, tap on the 'locate me' button on the top left and see what is around you.

-Load up the Rainfall Forecast and Rainfall Radar pages to see what the weather is doing.

-Then go to the Environmental agency website on the app to get accurate water levels. You can also look at "Wheres the Water'' for Scotland and "Rainchasers" for England and Wales.

- Look on the webcam page to see what is near you and that should provide further information. Once you have decided where to paddle, use your guidebook to get more information.

-Then you can select 'Directions to River' in the detail view and it will flip to the maps application and give you directions. You can also search for canoe shops nearby.

Click the 'More' Tab for more pages. A good tip here is to click the 'Edit' button and you can rearrange what tabs you have on the main bar by dragging the icons to the bar.

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:08 am
by ChrisE
Notters wrote:Dear Mr Ryan, I believe there is already an app available called uk rivers available on itunes and I'm sure it was free as I'm as tight as a ducks widget. It links to here, rainfall radar, maps with get in and out's gps, links to wow and rain chasers,

Worth a look!!
Would this also be for iphones/pod/pads?

I'm certainly intrigued by the text based app with all initial data stored on phone. And have been toying with the idea of playing around with making an app for a while.
So I'm going to have a play for a bit and see what I can come up with....

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:23 am
by banzer
Hang on, who would go boating when it's low near FW?

Oh sorry, that's been done a couple of times.

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:20 pm
by SwamP
Good man, Chris!!

If you need someone to take on the listing the rivers, and kayakable water conditions for river beginning with the letter Z, give me a shout :-p
Seriously though, building the database will take you a wee bit of time so I’m sure if you’re gonna build this free app then some folks will lend a hand to listing the rivers for you and stating the water conditions required out of a set list.

Mr Ryan, your app suggestions are awesome but largely where I agreed to disagree with Pinheed’s future vision.

Having an all singing, all dancing app that tells you what stroke to put in at a specific grid reference would be great. However it’s overly complicated requires more widgets, more time, more cost, higher chance of failing and would most likely require a phone signal of some sort.
I used to go boating for some escapism, not to hunt down free wifi :-p

Banzer….there’s even a rumour that the best paddlers in Scotland drove 3 hours to put on the Nevis when it was too low for any local boater to get out of bed…and swam. You’ve got to love that :)
But hey we’ve all done low water boating in that area. This app isn’t for low water options, it’s more useful for an immediate list of “Oh, there’s some water….erm…….”
(obviously you’d know the answer to “Erm” as you’ve got every UK OS Map memorised, but I don’t :-p)

Too many boaters are paddling the Orchy and Etive each weekend when literally hundreds of other rivers are going off.

For two days effort and no charge, why not deliver something awesome to reduce faff and see more ditches being descended :)

FAFFING must be eradicated!!!

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:26 pm
by ChrisE
indeed if it does all come together nicely then I would need some people with more knowledge of runnable levels etc.
But for a starter I've got a copy of the rainchasers database with river names, grades, latitude and longitude of get ins and get outs, brief descriptions and directions.

I figure it'll give a good starting point and general structure if I can get this to nicely form the basis of an app...
SwamP wrote:FAFFING must be eradicated!!!
Love the motto...

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:38 pm
by Notters
SwamP wrote:Who doesn’t have a smart phone?
Mr Ryan, Does your Smartphone not connect to 3G to enable you to see said content on the move?
And you cant say that you don't get a good enough signal in scotland, I'm on vodafone and they reckon they "cover 99% of the uk with 2G and 80% with 3G" ;-)

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:23 pm
by SwamP
I can say it and I will.

I do not get data near the Orchy, Coe, Etive Valley etc etc etc.

Your suggestions were good. My two day deliverable can be the light free version. Your two month deliverable can be the chargable platinum upgrade :)

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:08 pm
by johnj33
i built a phone app for my dissertation to view ea river gauge data based on you location that works on android and in theory blackberry and windows phone. happy to give app / source to anyone interested but i think there are better things out there like rainchasers.

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:18 pm
by DaveBland
SwamP wrote:Very simply, why isn’t there an app where you put in your rough location, the water conditions you have present, which then filters a list of possible rivers for you to paddle?
I'm probably worrying too much, but why? Back in the days of coal-fired cars and no interwb, it used to be a case of looking at the weather forecast on a Thursday night, having a shufty at the guidebook, and saying " it's pissing it down, I'm off to do the Ogwen"

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:01 pm
by morsey
DaveBland wrote: Back in the day
It became a suck ass game of driving around like morons trying to find ideal conditions. The internet resources have massively changed that faff. Example: Fired up Rain Chasers whilst last in the lake, drove straight to the main river showing the highest level. Result.

Crappy data signal is not limited to Scotland!

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:05 am
by SwamP
DB I'm totally with you bro.

But to answer the Why questions. ..

Well, free, two days effort, low/no data signal in many areas in wee steep sided glens, hundreds of rivers to choose from....so, why not?

Guidebook is the shiznae, of course. But this would simply be a case of having river names filtered by water thus rounding down your options.

Apparently a monkey could build it and even adding the map widget is a peice o poo.

But I do agree, back in the day was better!!!! :-(

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:03 pm
by davebrads
morsey wrote:The internet resources have massively changed that faff. Example: Fired up Rain Chasers whilst last in the lake, drove straight to the main river showing the highest level. Result.
Didn't work for us when we were there a week last Sunday. Rain was forecast so we headed to the Troutbeck. It was raining, but there was no water in the river. Rainchasers said everything was empty, but the gauges had last updated more than four hours previously. So we looked at the Met Office rainfall radar picture which showed it was chucking it down in the Keswick area. We had a cup of tea to kill a bit of time and allow the rivers to rise, drove up and everything was going off. Result!

Rainchasers is OK for rivers that don't go up and down too quickly, but rainfall data is more useful for the smaller becks.

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:36 pm
by DaveBland
So here's my point - in the UK if everything's going off, the paddling is excellent and there are loads of choices in each region.
If it's not really raining enough, or you are a bit late/early, then yes it sucks and you can spend ages chasing your arse trying to find a decent river, but end up paddling the same old fallback options anyway.
Either way, an app isn't going to make much difference - probably it will just add to the pain and arse chasing?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for gauges and technology, but we all know in our heart of hearts that unless it's going off, it's a bit of a lost cause...

Sorry if i'm sounding overly negative, just spent way too much energy over the years chasing water that wasn't there.

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:05 am
by SwamP
I think i said this earlier but I couldn't agree more.


If the app was difficult, more conplex, delivered more and took linger to make. I'd not even post a reply.

If some toss pot was working on it with a view to making money.....

I wouldnt reply.

But even a dullard with some time on his hands could make this in a view days. Apple have made it possible for the map plugin to be added within five working minutes.

Your argument is valid.....in a world where I don't have a p^ssy whipped app.

Its valid when apps cost money.
Its valid when the guidebook filters down over 100 rivers to a handfull of those niche ditches running with that water you have.
Its valid when people dint huck falls of Falloch unless they have theballs and skill to run the whole thing.


Sadly, we live in a world where we can pick and choose to do what ever we want. The easier it is do to it the more likely we are to try.

So no I'm not disagreeing. Im agreeing...but wanting it built regardless :)

Re: What River App - Eh?

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:04 am
by DaveBland
Damn, caught blatantly trolling again. I think?
And of course, anything that helps avoid the trudgery of chasing empty rivers is a bonus.
I think I may be spoilt.