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StreamTeam 101

by Paul Martzen, Pacific Regional Stream Team Leader and Matt Muir, StreaMaster
last updated 05/12/2015

Basic HTML Photo/Video 101


Welcome to the StreamTeam Project! This page is intended to help new StreamTeam members get started and to keep “veteran” StreamTeam members up to speed. (New sections and changed text are highlighted in red.)

There are a few main duties of Stream Team members.

1) Act as a contact for anyone wanting more information about a river.
2) Edit and maintain the AW stream pages for their chosen rivers.
3) Act as an AW liaison to other groups and entities with interest in a river.

It is very beneficial to have one or more Stream Team members signed up for a river reach so that website users, agencies, reporters, fishermen, politicians, or others have someone they can talk to about a river.

Having a river reach in the online guide and having good info is important, but having your name listed with that river means that there is a person acting on behalf of that river and acting on behalf of AW. The importance of this personal representation cannot be overstated.

Accepting a reach or joining the Stream Team for a reach

First, login to the AW site.
To accept a reach, mouse over “Administrator” in the top navigation bar, and click on “Stream Team.”
Then, next to one of the states in your “permissions,” click on the button that says “List Reaches.”
This will bring up a list of all the river reaches in your state, such as
http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/StreamTeam/list-reaches/state/ak/. (To make this link work for you, replace the “AK” in the URL with the abbreviation for one of the states in your list.) Underneath the name of each reach will be an “Accept Reach” button.
Click on the “Accept” button and you will be listed as a StreamTeam member for that reach.

Editing a river reach

Please join the StreamTeam for a reach if you want to edit that reach. At present, if you are on the StreamTeam for a state, you can edit any reach within that state even without joining the specific team for that reach. However, we prefer that you sign on as a stream team member before editing a reach. After most edits, the person who made those edits gets listed in the river page “Credits and Network” tab.

You can see what changes were made during past edits by clicking on the dates of the edits. The river page will reopen showing how it looked after that edit. By clicking on the different edit dates you can see how the river page has changed over time.

Team members can edit a river page starting from several points. The easiest is to view a river page and then find the box with editing buttons at the top. It should be the left-most box. You can also go to your StreamTeam page and click on ”Manage My Streams.” This will bring up a list of the rivers you have joined. Beneath each reach will be editing buttons.

Section Tabs There are several editing tabs, each devoted to editing sections of the reach description. After you've plugged in the info that you want to include in a tab, scroll to the bottom and click on the “Update Edit Copy” button. This is to ensure that your edits aren't lost.

Making Edits Public When you are finished with any of your edits and want to see what they look like, click on “Quick Preview” or “Full Preview”. If you are satisfied with how the page looks, then click on “Make Changes Public” to save them to the public version of the webpage. The save requester includes an input box for an “edit summary”. It is helpful to others and yourself if you enter a few words to state what was edited. The Last 100 Edits shows what other Stream Team members have been working on.
We strongly recommend saving your descriptions and other info in a file on your hard drive, so that you can easily re-enter data that the website may not accept when an error occurs. Note: some of the fields seem a little weird or obscure. Please fill in as many fields as possible!

  1. Main: This has the basic info: the river name, section, state…and the lat/longitude coordinates for the putin and takeout. If at all possible, please input the coordinates. This is explained in more detail below.
  2. Location: This contains a few fields for info, including the County, Zip, Length, Gradient, EPA HUC, and Gauge Description. The EPA HUC designation is used for sorting rivers by watershed. Locate Your Watershed Note: if you enter the lat/longitude coordinates in the Main tab, the HUC will be automatically filled in. The zip code is used for the weather box in the reach description. Zip Code Lookup
  3. Description: Here's where you provide the description of the run. You can also write an Abstract (which will be seen in the list of reaches in a state) and add a Photo.
  4. Directions: In this tab, you can provide written directions to supplement the Google Map that's automatically generated from the lat/longitude coordinates. We very much encourage you to do this, because the auto-maps are usually not as good as your description.
  5. Flows: This is a big mother. You can add supplemental gauges and give a variety of levels (too low, too high, runnable but low, etc.) here.
    In the “Flows” field, there are several choices:
    • Add new gauge. If you click on that, then type some of the beginning characters from the gauge of interest. (i.e., for Carter's Creek at Roslyn, type “Carter”.) Click on the little “arrow” icon to the right of the input field.
    • When the interface gives you a few gauges to choose from, click on the gauge that you want to use, to select it.
    • In the “Units” field, type either “cfs” (for flow) or “ft” (for stage).
    • Enter appropriate numbers in the “Minimum Recommended Flow” and “Maximum Recommended Flow” (if applicable) fields. This will enable the website to display your stream “in the green” when it's running.
  6. Rapids: This allows you to create an organized list of rapids and other features of interest. Each rapid or feature is edited separately and they are sorted by distance from the put-in. Input the name of the feature, the distance from the put-in, a description, and a picture ID number if you choose. Now there are input options for rapids' latitude and longitude. Get your GPS ready! If you input the lat/long coordinates, not only will the rapids' locations show up on the maps (in the pages' Map tab), but the database will be available to rescue personnel, who will be able to better home in on an accident location–taking the "Search" out of "Search and Rescue!" Note: if you don't type in the longitude as a negative number, you will get an error massage.
    If you know of a good photo of the rapid, you'll certainly want to add it here. The best way to do this is:
    1. After the photo's been uploaded to the AW site, open the photo in a different window or tab.
    2. Note the name (title) of the photo.
    3. In the “AW Photo ID” field, enter the name of the photo (or, at least, the first word or characters of the title).
    4. Select the photo from the list of titles that the Search function displays.
      For instructions on uploading photos to the AW website, see Photo/Video 101.
  7. Quick Preview & Full Preview Click here to see how your changes look before clicking on “Make Changes Public” at the top. The Quick Preview will only show main parts of the river page.

Putin / Takeout Coordinates
The putin and takeout lat/longitude coordinates are used for mapping. Note that these need to be located on the river itself and not at the trailhead or parking area away from the river. This is important for future enhanced mapping features we are hoping to provide that integrate our data with the USGS hydrography data. If you don't have a GPS, you can estimate the coordinates using Google Earth, Google Maps, or other similar mapping services. You can also make a rough guess based on coordinates from other nearby rivers and then click on the “map it” button. Drag the map to the correct location and zoom in to fine tune it. Click on “Drop Marker Here” then drag the marker to the correct location. The coordinates will be automatically updated by any changes to the marker in the “map it” window. Note: all North and South American rivers are located in the Western hemisphere, with negative longitude coordinates. If you don't type in the longitude as a negative number, you will get an error massage.

Using Google Maps:

  1. Search for the location in question.
  2. Right-click on the location, and click on “Center Map Here.”
  3. In the upper-right corner of the window, right click on Link, and click on “Copy link location.”
  4. Copy the location into the browser's address field (at the top of the browser window).
  5. In the huge address, you'll see some text and numbers like “ll=43.623557,-75.273771.” the numbers following “ll=” are the latitude and longitude coords. You can then copy these numbers and paste them into the Putin, Takeout, or Rapid fields.

Directions/Shuttle Details: This feature was new as of Nov. 2007; and we are still working with it. The results in the Directions tab can be weird, based on the way that mapping programs interpret data:

  • Sometimes they don't recognize old logging roads.
  • They won't show you how to hike to or from the river.
  • If your putin or takeout coordinates are interpreted as being on the “wrong” side of the river, it might send you on a loooong drive to nowhere. See, for example, the shuttle directions for the Lower Gauley and ”The Box.” The latter is a “dummy reach,” with coordinates that are similar to those for the Lower Gauley. You'd rather not direct paddlers on that route!

Play around with it, and see what works for the reach that you're working with. It is a good idea to type in a text description of the preferred shuttle.

Compare Other River Pages It is very educational and helpful to look at what other editors are doing to their pages. Click on the “National River Database” menu under the River Info menu. http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/view/” At the top left of the page click on the button labeled “Last 100 Edits”. This takes you to the list of most recent edits. http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/show-edits/state/*/ See what other editors have been doing and learn from their examples.

Adding a New River Reach

If you know of a reach (or important park-&-play spot) which does not yet exist in the AW database, please add it! In the StreamTeam Page, Under “My States,” click on “Create and Accept a New Reach” in the appropriate state. Be sure to fill in the State, River, Section, and Length (in miles) fields. (If you don't fill in those fields at the outset, the website will return an error message and your edits won't be saved.) It is recommended that you enter only minimal info at the outset, so that if a problem occurs, you haven't lost a boatload of work. You can always add more info later. It's also recommended that you save your descriptions and other info in a file on your hard drive, so that you can easily re-enter data that the website didn't accept the first time.

StreamTeam FAQ Questions

  1. I just added a new Reach, but it doesn't show up on the state listing. Have I lost all my work?
    New reaches will not appear on the state listing until you “Publish” them. They will show up in your personal list, which you get to from the “Administrator” menu item, clicking “StreamTeam”, then “Manage My Streams”. From there, when you are ready for them to be available to the public, when you pull it up to look at it, you should find the “Publish” button along with the other edit options.
    If you make changes to an existing (published) reach, and those changes do not take, there may be a new bug or perhaps you hit the wrong button - 'close' instead of 'update', for instance. Make sure you save your work before trying to update again. If it continues to not take, post a note on the StreamTeam Forum with as complete a step-by-step description of the problem as you can. If it is a new bug, others will be able to duplicate your problem and then figure out how to solve it.
    Note: because occasional glitches can occur, we strongly recommend that you save your info in an external file–such as a text file–so that, if your edits get lost, you can cut-n-paste the stuff in at a later date.
  2. How do I change my email address on the AW site?
    In the top menu bar, simply mouse over “My Account,” click on ”Account Settings,” and select “UserPreference.” Enter your updated email and click on “Submit” at the bottom.
  3. I've logged in, but I can't edit my streams. Is that a bug?
    It might be, but first check your account. In the top-right frame of the AW Homepage, does it say “Please verify your email address. Click here.”? If so, that means that you haven't logged in for awhile. Please click on the link and make sure that your email address is up-to-date. We need your current e-address, so that we can contact you about changes or problems with the Stream Team and the NWRI.
  4. What's with all this R0, L9, stuff in the gauges section?
    The letter codes L,R,H refer to low, runnable, and high respectively. Within each range a number from 0-9 provides the relative value within that range. So R0 would be at the bottom end of the runnable optimal flow and R9 would be at the upper limit of the runnable optimal flow.
  5. What about rapid ratings? I mean, what's “II-III(V)” mean?
    In this example, II-III represents the range of most rapids on the river. The V in parentheses means that there are one or two Class-V rapids (which can be portaged). So a class II-III paddler can do the run but should be prepared to portage the class V drop(s).
  6. I no longer get emails alerting me when a comment is added. Is this a malfunction? Can I make it resume?
    We lost email alerts for river page comments a few years ago when the internal AW messaging system and forum were discontinued. It is a big loss, so we hope to get this feature reinstated.
  7. The pages for my reach have been substantially edited by someone else. Can other site visitors edit my reach?
    Any state stream team member can edit any reach within that state. Anyone on the regional Stream Team list can edit any reach. Go to your river page “Credits & Network” tab to see who has been editing the page. Click on the date of an edit to see what those edits were. Contact those other editors and compare notes. Work together to make pages better.
  8. What is the hierarchy of the stream team and who are the leaders?
    Matt Muir is the volunteer coordinator in charge of all the Stream Team. Thomas O'Keefe on staff assist volunteers. Below Matt, Regional Stream Team people are able to add and subtract stream team members and help you out in other ways. Find a list of regional stream team here: http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/StreamTeam/info/

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Click here to go to the StreamTeam Forum at Google Groups