The Styx Living Laboratory Trust


The Styx Living Laboratory Trust was set up in 2002 to realise Christchurch City Council's Vision #3 in The Styx - Develop a 'Living Laboratory' that focuses on learning & research in the Styx River catchment.

Their existing site had been great, but the technology it was built on had become dated and unreliable - the Flash based graphs at the core of their mission worked erratically. It wasn't responsive and it couldn't be edited by the volunteers, board or trustees leaving them with publicly available information that was years out of date that they had no control over.

They wanted something that would maintain continuity of feel with their existing site & branding, that would give them back control of their public data, would provide graphing options as well as adding new features, and that would engage visitors better.

They now have all these things and are able to add users within a set of roles - such as observation data recorder and site editor - so they can spread the load of keeping their wealth of information up to date.

The communities, schools & individuals making water quality observations in the field are now able to record their data entries directly into the system using their preferred devices. The trust placed in these trained environmental monitors means the data is then instantly available on the site - and can be edited by users with the right access level in the future should entry/recording mistakes be made. Workflow is always key to community group success and this system dramatically reduces core volunteer data entry work.

The site has a great deal of available data including research papers, historical information, location information, mapping and newsletters. This is now all interconnected and easy to maintain, build on and update. It makes use of the Google Maps API for pinning locations and displaying information on the observation sites and for graphing

Drupal version
Launch date
SLLT Home page
SLLT Water Clarity topic page
SLLT pH topic page with graphing
SLLT Individual data record showing many data points
SLLT Water Quality testing site location, complete with Satellite map and location instructions