Decision Support for Small Earth Dams using Web GIS

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Masters Degree in Geographic Information Systems of the University of Leeds.


The benefits of creating small earth dams for retaining water, both surface and subsurface, are multiple. The reserved water can be used for domestic and agri- cultural applications. Natural ecosystems will benefit as a result of the improved hydrological conditions, often helping to halt or reverse desertification by slowing down the large water cycle and preventing water runoff in the rainy season. Im- proved water retention improves conditions in drought-affected ASAL regions and lifts the burden of water carrying from women, allowing more time for family and education.

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RISC Screenshots

RISC: Rapid Information Servicing Communities


RISC was selected to participate in the NDRC LaunchPad VI Accelerator programme.

RISC is a service that allows you to receive trusted, up-to-date community level information directly from your local emergency service and utility providers.

The web application provides an interface to service providers to allow them to create location-aware alerts and warnings that are dispatched by SMS to registered residents and businesses in the affected area.

The app is built on GeoDjango, PostGIS with Leaflet mapping used on the front-end.


Fingal Day Tripper

The Fingal Day Tripper is a web app for citizens of Fingal County, Ireland.  The service lists nearby amenities, allowing the visitor to choose where they would like to spend the day. The app also shows a route and driving directions from the visitor’s home address to the address of any attractions.

Apps4Fingal Awards

  • Winner in Student Category
  • Runner-up Tourist Category

With this service, it is hoped that awareness of local amenities is improved and that individuals and families find planning a day out in Fingal a lot more fun and easy.

This web app was developed using Fingal Open Data and entered as part of Fingal County Council‘s apps4fingal Competition.


Seismic Shaker

Seismic Shaker is a Firefox add-on that rattles your browser window whenever a strong earthquake occurs anywhere near you.

Most Creative New Add-on@ Mozilla Summit 2010, Whistler B.C.

It works by polling the U.S. Geological Survey‘s feed of recent earthquakes and checking if there is any activity above M2.5 within 500km of your current location. The locations of recent quakes will also be presented on a map.



Dartmaps is a Google Maps mashup to visualize the moving, real-time locations of commuter trains (DART) in Dublin, Ireland.

Dartmaps is no longer live, but you can watch it in action in this screencast.

The mashup worked by first scraping natural-language real-time data (e.g. “The next train is due in 5 minutes.”) from the Irish Rail website. This was used to calculate the distance of the train from the station. The position of the train was then estimated by following a vector representation of the track for that distance.

Dartmaps appeared in print in The National Geographic, on the radio on NPR and even on television. Even more excitingly, in 2008 the New York Museum of Modern Art ran an exhibition titled “Design and the Elastic Mind” that featured Dartmaps in one of its exhibits.

What people said:

Holy crap, congrats! That’s amazing.

-Justin Mason, Creator of Apache SpamAssassin

One of my favorite Google Maps mashups is the Dartmaps mashup.

-Mike Pegg, Google Maps Mania