Our Work: Lakes Database

Screenshot of Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Lake Database displaying map of lakes in the Anchorage area that can be clicked on for more information.

Imagine managing 1,300 lakes and answering questions when your data is in disparate spreadsheets, databases, and paper files. That was the challenge faced by biologists in the Division of Sport Fish.

The Division asked Resource Data to first help identify and prioritize their needs. From this work, they identified their top priority as consolidating lake-related data into a single database and making it accessible via a map-based interface.

The Solution

We designed a database that stores the Division’s lake-centric data and integrates with other Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) databases. We also built a custom web application, with administrative and public components.

Using the administrative component, Division staff can

  • Maintain lake data
  • Query and extract data for analysis and reporting
  • View data using an interactive map

This map viewer, which is also publicly available, uses a Google Earth interface for easy access to the lake data. So anglers, for example, can find that perfect spot for their next fishing trip.

Some features include

  • Filtering lakes, for example, by species or stocking dates
  • Exporting data

Read the Division’s press release or try out the site yourself.

Our Approach

We began by developing architectural and database designs. The Division had a SQL Server lake database with some of the needed information, which we used as a foundation. To support the new datasets, we added and reorganized tables.

At the Division’s request, we used Google Earth for the interactive map. We also selected ASP.NET MVC, which allowed us to more easily respond to ADF&G-mandated database and graphic design changes.

We used a Scrum methodology, which the Division preferred. A Division staff member was a key Scrum team member. In the Product Owner role, she prioritized user stories and tested each completed story.