I built an app! I've built few, but this one is especially special (to me).
Flood Aware is an app for tracking water levels in your local area. The data is sourced from the Environment Agency (EA). The app started off as a personal project after buying a house right on the water, last summer; the canal to the front, and the river behind.
Insuring a house by the water, you're forced to think about flood risks. And while our new house wasn't affected by the 2012 floods, the notion of flooding became a bit of an obsession. I'm total nerd, so discovering that EA tracked water levels, was a revelation! Conversations around the dinner table centred regularly on the previous day's water levels. We're all pretty nerdy.
Checking the locals levels though, was a bit of a clunky experience. I really just wanted an app that remembered my location and checked the local levels, with a nice graph. Life is alway better with a nice graph. I started putting something together. Progress was slow, when you write code all day long, there is not often a lot of motivation to start again in the evening!
The project had stalled on the run up to Christmas, I don't remember giving any serious thought to flooding (the odd joke, that is not overly funny now). Then Boxing Day happened, and we were very lucky in actual fact. Houses on our road are still uninhabitable now. In contrast, it was really just our garage that was affected. With a looming threat of more rain on the way, water levels were a renewed focal point.
Over the course of the next few days, I finished the initial version of Flood Aware and wasted no time submitting the app to Apple and Android stores. The reaction has been fantastic. Seeing people use the app and discussing it on social media, has been a real thrill.
The app, which is free, continues to improve. You can find your nearest water station, check water levels for the last three days, and be alerted to current flood warnings. The app is available on iOS, Android, and Google Chrome.
You can find more info, and links, here.