Searching for Springs

Each spring is entered in the database with the georeferenced location, land ownership, and managing agency. The database automatically generates a unique Site ID number to differentiate between springs with similar names (for example, there are many sites called “Big Spring” in the database).

The database currently has location information for over 140,000 springs. Although many remain unmapped, it is very important to make sure a new site isn't already included before adding it to the database. To avoid any redundancy, we recommend a thorough search for any existing record of your new spring before you actually create a new record for it.

To search for a spring, click Search Springs on the Homepage. This opens a new screen (Figure 5) with many search options for finding a spring. Options include entering a bounding box or point radius search from a current location or a known latitude and longitude in decimal degrees. Springs also may be found using locality criteria, such as the Country, State/Province, County, Land Unit Detail, and USGS Quad. Watch a short video of this here.

Fig. 5) Search Springs page allows users to search by many different criteria as well as by geographic coordinates in Decimal Degrees.

Finding a spring by entering the name is possible, but keep in mind that many springs have the same name. Also some are misspelled in the source database (NHD, etc) or the name is missing entirely and the spring is listed as unnamed. The other parameters are much more likely to yield the spring you seek.

The Country, State, County, Land Unit, and Land Unit Detail drop-down fields are successively linked to limit options for data entry based on previous selections. Once the country is entered, such as “Canada”, only Canadian provinces are listed in the State/Province dropdown field. Upon entering “Alberta”, only Alberta counties are listed.

Throughout the database, with few exceptions, no other values may be entered in the dropdown fields other than those listed. This eliminates the potential for misspellings and incorrect entries, and assures consistency of data for reporting and analysis. For example, requiring that species are always entered the same way makes it possible to view all occurrences of that species throughout the database.

Currently not all Canadian provinces are included in the database, and only Canada, Mexico and United States are listed in the countries table. Others will be added as necessary. All US states, and many counties, are already included.

As an example, enter "Montezuma Well" in the Name field, then "United States" in the Country and "Arizona" in the State field, then click the Search button (Figure 6). Note that throughout the database, hovering over a hyperlink will often display a hint about what function it executes.  

Fig. 6 The Search form with criteria entered to locate Montezuma Well, a spring in Arizona. You can also click the "Include Only Springs with Survey Data" checkbox.

A form will open with one result for Montezuma Well (Figure 7).  Click on the Basic Record Information link to view general information and images, if they are available. The Query Button exports available data into a *.csv file that you can open using Microsoft Excel.  Click on the Edit button on the right to open the Site Information Form (described in the next section).


Figure 7:  Results from the search criteria entered in Figure 8. Click the Basic Record Information hyperlink to open general information about the site.  Or click the Edit Record Symbol (the boxed pencil icon ) to open the Site Information Form.

Click on the Maps Tab (Figure 7) to display the results in a map form where symbols are categorized by Spring Type. You can zoom and pan in this map, and select either Map or Satellite View. It is important to remember that the only springs displayed will be those meeting your search criteria, AND those that you have Permission to access.

Fig. 7: Map of search results in Satellite View

Another reliable search option is to enter coordinates in Decimal Degrees into the Search Form along with a radius search value (Figure 8), then click Search. Watch this short video to view a demonstration.

Fig. 8: Point Radius Search on the bottom of the Search page.

You can also draw a bounding box, a circle, or enter a point by clicking the globe icons from the Search Form. To create a bounding box, pan to the area you want to search using the Pan tool (the hand), then click the Rectangle tool (the square), and draw the area on the map (Figure 9). Then click Submit Coordinates. You will be returned to the Search page, where the coordinates will be pasted into the appropriate fields. Click Search.

These are very effective ways to assure that you find the correct spring, and don't add one that already exists. Keep in mind that the only results that will be returned are those that you have Permission to access.

Fig. 9: Creating a bounding box, accesible from the Search form.