Environmental Data Portal - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this changing?

WMIS has been in use since 2008.  Data management technologies have changed substantially since then, to the extent that software and hardware resources required to support WMIS can no longer be maintained. The new Environmental Data Portal (EDP) will allow us to modernize the way users interact with the system and more efficiently maintain the data.

When will the change occur?

We anticipate introducing the EDP this summer.

Are SID numbers changing?

SID (site ID) numbers are not changing, but they will be called “station IDs” in the new system to be compatible with industry-standard terminology.

Will we lose any current functionalities/information?  

Some WMIS functionality (i.e., accessing portfolio-related documents) will be changing. Not all current WMIS functionality will be available through the EDP but District staff will continue to develop and configure the portal over time to provide enhanced capabilities. Instead of “approved” or “provisional” data status, the users will be able to see the “percent of good quality data” for the daily aggregated data. Providing the “percent of good quality data” will also eliminate the need to know the “number of records used for daily aggregation.”

Will the download file structure change? 

Users will still have the option of downloading selected data in csv format. There will be additional output format options as well, including Excel, HTML, JSON, and plain text.

Will there be any new features available?  

Yes, there will be some new features available including selecting stations by map, filtering by several different geographic areas, and enhanced graphing and download capabilities. Users outside the District will be able to query the portal through R, a scripting platform, which was not possible with WMIS.

Will there be training and staff resources for help?

There will be documentation available (reference guides, videos, etc.) to assist users in getting to know the new system, and how to find and download data.  Telephonic and email assistance is always available from Data Collection Bureau staff as well.