Want to know where a raindrop that falls in Glacier National Park eventually ends up? Would you like to follow the headwaters of the Missouri to the Gulf of Mexico? Or just see a 3D map of where the water in your local watershed flows on its way to the sea?
Check out the River Runner website, our new favorite corner of the internet.
Click anywhere on the map of the United States, and the website drops down to a terrain following view, tracking where water flows from that very spot. Incredible.
It was made by a data analyst named Sam Learner with help from the US Geological Survey’s water team. He was inspired by thinking about the Continental Divide, and how it cleaves two massive watersheds in two.
“I thought that journey would be really interesting,” he said. “If we start at the top of a mountain on the Continental Divide, just watching this split—one journey a few hundred miles to the Pacific, and another to the Gulf of Mexico. As I started digging into the data, I realized that the scope of it could be much bigger.”