In this month’s Map Mavin Case Study, I’ll be using publicly available datasets to note differences in normal surface water levels and water levels during extreme flooding in the City of Boulder, Colorado.
In the fall of 2013 the City of Boulder, and most of the Front Range region of Colorado as a whole, was subjected to some of its worst flooding in the past century. President Obama ultimately declared a federal State of Emergency as entire communities were wiped out in a matter of days. Even now, many areas are still affected by the damage, with road restoration and reconstruction still ongoing and hiking trails permanently changed or gone altogether.
With Map Mavin, I was easily able to take advantage of the City of Boulder’s open data portal. First, I found shapefiles (.SHP) of the regular water ways and reservoirs in the city; and then found shapefiles of the extent of the flooding in 2013. By overlaying these two layers, I was able to see how much farther the water penetrated normally dry land than it would on a typical day, and thus gained a better understanding of which areas were hit the hardest during the flood.
If you’d like to take a look at the flood map I made, you can check it out on Youtube by clicking the link above, or you can go to the map directly by clicking here.