Screen shot of FloodAlert in action, showing flood alerts overlaid on a map of the Wye Estuary at Chepstow

Live flood alert services launches in time for rainy season

A new flood warning system that takes real-time data from the UK government’s nationwide network of monitoring stations, and overlays it on detailed Microsoft Bing Maps, has gone live on the Environment Agency’s website.

Piloted on Facebook since last April, FloodAlerts could prove a critical online resource to thousands of UK users, providing updates regarding on-going high-water risks, including sending alerts direct to users via email and Facebook accounts when areas important to them are at risk of flooding. The system, created by Shropshire-based software development and data specialist Shoothill, updates every 15 minutes.

“FloodAlerts provides an up-to-date picture of a flooding situation at any given time, which is why the Environment Agency has licensed the service to embed in its own website,” says Shoothill managing director Rod Plummer. “This is generally the first stop for anyone needing information on where water levels are rising or receding.”

The service has been shortlisted in the Information Technology category (sponsor: Accenture) of the IET Innovation Awards 2012, taking place at the Brewery, London, on 22 November 2012. Other contenders in this category include Actual Experience Ltd, BlackRidge Technology, Verdiem, and the organisations behind the Scottish community apparatus data Vault (University of Leeds, Susiephone Ltd, Ordnance Survey, 1Spatial Ltd, ESRI(UK) Ltd, Symology Ltd, UK Water Industry Research Ltd (UKWIR), the VAULT Steering group, and the VISTA consortium).

In December Shoothill MD Rob Plummer is presenting with Rob Fraser, CTO Cloud Services, Microsoft UK, and Michael Rose, commercial intellectual property licensing manager, Environment Agency, at the one-day IET Seminar on Big Data: 'Turning big challenges into big opportunities', taking place on 5 December 2012 at the Lion Court Conference Centre, London WC1V 6NY, UK. Full details at

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