Following user feedback, we've reinstated a simple visual display of the current level on the location pages. It isn't the same dial gauge as before, because all the issues described earlier still apply - it was slow to load, and it it doesn't work for some locations. And it also doesn't work for some of the newer data that we've added to the site.
What we have now is a vertical level gauge showing the water level against a colour-coded scale. The colours match those on the level icon. So you can see at a glance where the current level is in relation to normal levels.
We've also added a radial gauge for the flow data, where we have it. The further round the dial, the greater the flow. This, too, is colour-coded for below normal, normal and above normal values, although this time it's in diffferent shades of blue rather than different colours.
The site has been undergoing a lot of work over December and January, aiming to fix some of the issues that have been reported as well as add new functionality to the site. This is a list of the key changes.
A new colour key for level icons. Originally, this site used orange to indicate levels below normal. Below normal has now been changed to brown, and orange now means levels that are above the flood alert level for that location. This is consistent with the fact that flood alert icons, both here and at other websites, use orange to indicate a flood alert. We've also changed the icons themselves, to use a newer design.
You can see the new colours described in more detail at the symbols page.
The individual location pages have had a makeover. The gauge image at the top has been removed - it was very slow to load, which slowed down the entire site, and it simply didn't work properly for locations where values could go negative (such as tidal locations and some reservoirs). Instead, the graphs have been moved up to be immediately underneath the headline value so you can just scroll down to view them. We've also fixed the issues with graphs not always displaying correctly for negative values.
Flow data is now included, where available. This has been one of our most requested changes, but until recently the data hasn't been reliably available to us. However, flow data is now published via an API that we can hook into, so we can now add it to the site.
Please be aware that flow data is not available for every location, and the service is still in beta so it may change without warning. And, at the moment, flow data is only available for England, not Scotland or Wales.
Improvements to map pages. The "all of the UK" maps (monitoring stations and flood warning areas) now use a different method to
display the icons, which should improve loading time considerably and deal with the issue that they sometimes didn't work at all on some mobile
devices. We've also added the ability to make all the large maps full screen, which will also be particularly useful for mobile users. Just tap on the
enter/exit full screen icons at the top left of the map: