Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



"Catch the King" was a citizen science GPS data collection effort centered in Hampton Roads, VA, that sought to map the King Tide's maximum inundation extents with the goal of validating and improving predictive models for future forecasting of increasingly pervasive "nuisance" flooding. GPS data points were collected by volunteers to effectively breadcrumb/trace the high water line by pressing the 'Save Data' button in the Sea Level Rise App every few steps along the water's edge during the high tide on the morning of Nov. 5th, 2017. Response from the event's dedicated volunteers, fueled by the local media partners' coverage leading up to the event, and over 35 separate volunteer training events held all over Hampton Roads resulted in 510 known participants collecting 53,006 time-stamped GPS maximum flooding extent measurements and 1,126 geotagged photographs of the King Tide flooding during the event. In the months following the event, 187 people emailed Dr. Loftis with additional GPS data points missing from the original event as a few volunteers noticed their data missing from the map as he presented it and as it was published in The Virginian-Pilot and Daily Press and among other media sources nationally. These data were collected through separate, concomitant, private events established with the Sea Level Rise app on November 5th, 2017, and are included to total 59,718 data points and 1582 photographs from 722 individual volunteers. Click the collapsible arrows below for an infographic or video breakdown of these statistics.


Sea Level Rise, Tides, Flooding, Virginia, Citizen Science, Data

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Associated Publications

Loftis, J.D., Mayfield, D., Forrest, D., and Stiles, W. 2018. A Geospatial Analysis of +50,000 Citizen-Science collected GPS Flood Extents and Street-Level Hydrodynamic Model Forecasts during the 2017 King Tide in Hampton Roads, VA. MTS/IEEE Oceans 2018 - Charleston, SC Loftis, Jon Derek. 2017. “Catch the King” Tide Thank You and Review". CCRFR Thank you and Review Community Event at ODU, Dec. 13, 2017. Presentations. 41. DOI: Loftis, Jon Derek, Wang, Harry, and Forrest, David R. 2017. "'Catch the King' Tide with StormSense on Nov. 5th: How You Can Help Crowd-Source Tidal Flood Event Calibrations for Hampton Roads' Newest Water Level Sensors". VIMS Dept. of Physical Sciences Seminar. Oct. 19, 2017. Presentations. 33. DOI:

Publication Statement

Attributions: Volunteers of 'Catch the King' Tide 2017 collected these data using the Sea Level Rise mobile application developed by Wetlands Watch and Concursive, Inc. Catch the King 2017 was sponsored and supported by The Virginian-Pilot, the Daily Press, WHRO Public Media, and WVEC News 13, and the CCRFR and orchestrated/managed by Qaren Jacklich and a dedicated team of tide captains. GPS Volunteer data were shared with VIMS for public dissemination via Concursive, Inc. and many volunteers directly.