New water level application optimized for mobile devices
The CHS application for water levels was developed by the Information Management and Technical Support team at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. It is based on a progressive web application (PWA) which is actually a website optimized for mobile devices. The PWA displays the information in the same way as a mobile application installed on a mobile device (phone, tablet). It contains data on water levels (including tides) for all stations in Canada. The data offered are water level predictions (tide tables), real-time water level observations for stations equipped with monitoring gauges and water level forecasts. There is also information on the dynamic vertical clearances of certain bridges. Predictions for tidal bore are available for designated stations as well as time of slack waters for the Reversible falls on the Saint John River (NB). Information is received from the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
There is no installation required as it is a Progressive Web App. You need an Internet connection to access the data. You need to have a connection to an internet network which can lead to a cost of using network data. There are several ways to access the CHS progressive water level web application.
- By selecting the Progressive Web Application link on the tide website;
- By entering the url address (https://wla.iwls.azure.cloud.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/) on the web browser of their mobile device
- By clicking on the widget among the icons of your applications, once the widget is installed
The first time you open the application, you will be asked to install the application (widget). If you are using a computer, a shortcut icon (widget) will be placed on your desktop. If you’re using a phone or tablet, the app icon (widget) will appear as with any app. Thereafter, you will only have to click on the icon to activate the application which will appear in full screen without the URL address bar at the top of the window.
Starting the app for the first time
The first time you open the app, you will be prompted to select your preferred language on the app home page. You will then be asked to choose a station from the station search page. Do not forget to specify the required time zone (see Time zone).
Three options are available:
- Search stations: click in the search stations dialog box, the list of stations name will appear. You can select a station by scrolling the list of names or type in the name of the station searched. The selection of station is narrowed down as you start typing letters. Note that correct spelling of the official name is required including the punctuations marks. The number of the station can be used in the search box.
- Map Search: by clicking on the globe icon beside the search dialog box, a map will appear. Once the map is displayed, select the desired station by clicking on the colored dot; a window appears showing the type of data available. To view the data, click on the Data button. If you have enabled geolocation, the map will be centered on your location. It can be turned off by clicking on the circle icon on the map.
- Search for places: there is a search magnifier on the map, by clicking on it a dialog box allows you to type in a location. You can then select the name and the map will be centered on the locality name you have entered with the stations in the vicinity.
You can add your favorite stations to a list called My stations allowing to go directly to the selected station. To add a station, click on the three vertical dots appearing on the right side of the Station name box on top of the window then select + Add to my stations. My stations list appears in the Station page under the search tools. To delete a station from the list, click on the basket icon next to the name of the station or use the delete station from the three vertical dots option.
The stations available in the application come from across Canada and cover the tidal waters of the three oceans, the St. Lawrence Gulf and estuary and the non-tidal waters of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. The available stations are categorized according to the legend appearing on the map:
- These are the stations equipped with a digital gauge broadcasting the observations in real time. Forecasts are also available for some stations under the graphics tab. The forecast is calculated for 48 hours.
- Prediction only
- For tide stations, tide predictions are available in the form of tables, graphs or time tables; for stations in non-tidal zones, monthly averages are available in the form of a graph.
- Dynamic vertical clearance
- The dynamic vertical clearance is displayed in the form of a graph calculated according to forecasted water levels at the position of the bridge (station) and the charted clearance. Data is provided for the Quebec, Laviolette (Trois-Rivières) and Jacques-Cartier (Montréal) bridges.
- Tidal Bore
- The time of arrival and the intensity (1 = low, 4 = high) of the tidal bore are available for the stations of Moncton and Truro.
- Reversing Falls
- The time of the slack waters is indicated for the end of the inward run (flood) and outward run (ebb) at the Reversing Falls on the Saint John River in New Brunswick.
- By default, the data is provided as of today. You can choose another date by pressing the calendar window. Observations and predictions data are available in the past except for dynamic vertical clearance. It is possible to obtain tide predictions in the future up to a year in advance and, when available, forecasts up to a maximum of 48 hours since today.
- The graphic tab presents the water level data in a graphical window with the date and time at the bottom. The most recent data is shown in a yellow tag. values Depending on the data available (Observation, Prediction and Forecast), it is possible to display or hide them by pressing the legend at the bottom of the graph. By pressing in the graphic window, a cursor and a box displaying the values of the curves appear. The cursor can be moved along the curves to read the value of the height and the date and time.
- The Thresholds button displays the maximum and minimum values for the selected station. For tide stations, the Highest High Water Large Tide (HHWLT) and the Lowest Low Water Large Tide (LLWLT) are shown. For non-tidal stations, the mean high water level is shown.
- It is also possible to enter a custom value in the box at the bottom of the graph. The custom threshold line appears on the graph with tags indicating the closest time at which the prediction curve crosses the custom threshold value.
- This tab displays, in tabular form, the times and heights of the high and low tides for 7 days from the calendar date. The moon phase is indicated in the upper right corner for each day.
- Hourly predictions
- The height of the tide is indicated every hour for the 24 hours of the day. The times of high and low tides are indicated in bold and by an up or down arrow.
- The information tab provides specific information for the station. We also find there the values of the different reference levels compared to the chart datum (CD) as well as the difference between different geodetic references and the CD.
In the preferences menu, you can set various parameters such as the language, the time zone, the time format, the units of measurement, the format of the geographic coordinates, the dark mode and the automatic data update.
- Select English or French.
- Time Zone
- The selected time zone applies to all the stations that you will display. Choose the time zone of the station displayed if you want to obtain information at the local time of the station. The transition to daylight saving time and standard time is done automatically according to the Canadian standard.
- Time format
- Select 24 hours or AM/PM.
- Unit system
- Choose meters or feet to display water level and vertical clearance measurements.
- Coordinate format
- Choose from the options available to display the geographic positions of the stations.
- Dark mode
- Three options are available for brightness: dark mode activated for a dark display of the application; deactivated mode for a clear display and an automatic mode for a brightness determined by the settings of your device’s operating system.
- Auto refresh
- Four options are available to update the displayed data. With the option deactivated, the data will remain displayed until the screen is refreshed. Otherwise, the refresh can be done automatically at 3 frequencies: 5, 10 or 30 minutes.