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Groundwater: Partcipatory Design Worknight 8/1/2013 @Stamen’s @MapTimeSF


Who: Folks in the Bay Area and beyond.

What: Help us design a public-friendly map of groundwater in California – for Californians.

When: Event: August 1, 2013 6:30 – 9 p.m.
Where: Stamen Offices 2017 Mission Street, San Francisco.

RSVP: E-mail or tweet @chachasikes to RSVP.

Twitters: #cawater, #groundwater #datenight @maptimesf @stamen @CAWaterAtlas

What we are doing

Join us at @MapTimeSF at @stamen.

This summer we are developing an understandable map of groundwater in the state of California. Answering basic questions such as “Where is groundwater?”” or “How high is the water table?”

We are having the first participatory design work-night to collaboratively consider new design ideas for visualizing groundwater. We have a bunch of samples of data, samples of current maps (governmental and scientific), and we invite you to bring yourself as citizen designer to help us create the map that we want to see about groundwater in our state. We want this to be easy-to-understand, work at an 8th-grade reading/science level, and be able to layer complex information in ways that are not overwhelming.

We will have paper and markers and other design implements. We will photo document our collective work and use these designs to inform the open-source map that we are making. The work we do is very valuable, because we will make it that much easier to tell stories about our groundwater in a comprehensible way, with real-time data.

If you did not know, groundwater is being pumped dramatically during our current drought. It leaves the state prone to land subsidence as well as groundwater depletion as we pump water out faster than it can recharge. The groundwater map is also a basis for visualizing the potential impact of fracking on vulnerable aquifers in the state.

Why we are doing this

Through a radically collaborative process to create a New California Water Atlas, we are working in ways that bring Californians together to solve problems and understand our state better. All of the data we create, all of the software we write goes into a publicly accessible venue (github, dropbox.) We are building community, and blogging about it as we go so that we can innovate our understanding of our state’s natural resources.

Supplies we are bringing:

  • post-its

  • scissors

  • translucent paper

  • digital camera

  • markers

  • colored pencils

  • sharpies

  • tape

  • large craft paper

  • sticky dots

Print-outs we plan to have

  • california DEM

  • aquifer map of california

  • aquifers – shapes

  • dwr potentiometric map

  • dwr heat map

  • jagged well reading contour lines – screenshot from QGIS

  • wells in CA (sample)

  • dichotomous key of groundwater

  • hydrograph example from a well (2-3 examples)

  • 2 examples of groundwater PDF documentation — examples of extra info we have

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