Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Old Dominion University


"Catch the King" was a citizen science GPS data collection effort centered in Hampton Roads, VA, that mapped the King Tide's maximum inundation extents to validate and improve predictive models for future forecasting of increasingly pervasive "nuisance" flooding. GPS data points collected by volunteers effectively breadcrumbed/traced 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. These participation results were broken down by locality and ranked by # of participants. The immense data collection revealed that VIMS' tide forecast model predicted flood depths in the vertical scale accurate to 1.4 in. (3.5 cm) and flood extents to within 19.3 ft. (5.9 m), geospatially, while effectively crowdsourcing hydro-correction for digital elevation models.



King Tide, Hampton Roads Virginia, GIS, Citizen Science