Mapping and Measuring Minnesota’s Water Quality

RMB Environmental Laboratories (RMB) in Detroit Lakes, MN, works with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to provide free water quality reports on many lakes throughout the state.  Along with a laboratory analysis of each lake’s amount of phosphorus and chlorophyll-a, other observations such as water clarity, water levels, rainfall amounts and recreational suitability are also documented.

he original reporting interface, developed several years ago, was based on outdated Microsoft web technology and had began to show it’s age. In 2010 RMB asked Flat Rock Geographics for a fresh approach to the reporting tools—one which would also include an interactive mapping component.  Building on our existing MapFeeder framework, Flat Rock created the new RMB application with proven open source tools; MapServerOpenLayersPostGIS, the CodeIgniter PHP framework and the jQuery JavaScript framework.

Unlike many “general purpose” web mapping tools where the “map is the app”, the MapFeeder framework employs the map and geographic analysis routines in an innovative way; as part of the overall application solution. MapFeeder has also been applied to a variety of other data-driven applications.

You can test-drive the system yourself at our hosting site and you can find out more about RMB Environmental Laboratories. For more details on water quality monitoring, check out Moriya Rufer’s excellent series of articles at the RMB site.