An Interactive Map That Traces the Path of a Raindrop Down Rivers and Streams to See Where It Ends Up

River Runner Flying Y Ranch

Data analyst Sam Learner has created River Runner, a fascinating interactive map that traces the path of raindrops down rivers and streams anywhere within the contiguous United States to see where they end up. The map uses information from both the U.S. Geological Survey Hydro Network-Linked Data Index and NHDPlus High Resolution.

This uses USGS NHDPlus data and their NLDI API to visualize the path of a rain droplet from any point in the contiguous United States to its endpoint (usually the ocean, sometimes the Great Lakes, Canada/Mexico, or another inland water feature). It’ll find the closest river/stream flowline coordinate to a click/search and then animate along that flowline’s downstream path.

Learner has made the source code for the project available on GitHub.

River Runner Map

River Runner

via Waxy

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.