Using SnowPilot for the first time?
SnowPilot is open-source, free software that allows users to graph, record and database snowpit information. After creating a pit a user can print a jpg or png or download the data in xml or CAAML format. This data is automatically saved onto a secure database where researchers can analyze it. All snowpits get saved in the database and individual users can choose who can view their pits.
Watch a 10-minute video tutorial.
...or use these quick start instructions. If you have any problems, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In order to create a snowpit you must sign up and set your preferences.
- Set your default State/Province/Country and maybe even Range or Advisory region. This will place the google map, and populate the location fields, for new snowpits in the correct location.
- Default Province/Country will also determine your date and time format ( Euro: dd/mm/yyyy 24-hour time; US: mm/dd/yyyy 12-hour format with am/pm)
- Default Province/Country will also determine your map background: US pits use USGS map data, all others use OpenStreets Maps.
- Don’t forget to add Affiliation type and Organization. Doing so will allow you to make your snowpits visible to only your ogranization.
- All 'Measurement Unit Prefs' will need to be filled out in order to create a snowpit.
- Uploading a photo: we actually don’t care what you look like, but if you like having a pic, go for it.
Creating a Snowpit
- Core Info page
- This is the page you land on when starting a pit.
- Take note of the 5 orange tabs (Core Info, Layers, Stability Tests, Temp Profile, Density). This is how you toggle between the pages when creating a pit.
- At the same height of these orange tabs are the <Save Pit and Preview> and <Delete Pit> buttons, pretty self-explanatory.
- Double-check the Date and Time of when you dug the snowpit. It defaults to the current Date/Time.
- Don’t forget to check <Practice Pit> if you are just messing around.
- The map is set according to your default region. You can either enter Lat/Long or UTM or click on the map to populate those fields
- Total Height of Snowpack will default to 150 cm on the <Layers> page. You can change that on either page.
- The values in the dropdown menu for Stability on similar slopes assumes you are using the SWAG or OGRES definitions.
- Layers page
- You must enter all your layers STARTING AT THE SNOW SURFACE. Sorry, but it’s just the way it is right now.
- You can create layers by entering in numbers OR clicking one of the squares on the Profile and dragging it.
- The top square only moves horizontally and is used to set hardness.
- The bottom square moves vertically and adjusts layer depth.
- The circle that appears on the lower left slides horizontally to create multiple hardness.
- If you click and drag to create the first layer, the bottom depth will not be populated until you click the bottom square.
- Add grain types, sizes, etc. and then click <Add Layer> button. A New Layer box appears.
- Edit previous layers by clicking on them. Only one layer window at a time can be open.
- Stability Tests page
- All standard snowpit tests are there according to SWAG/OGRES.
- Duplicate tests will be represented on the final graph as 2x, 3x etc…for example, 2x ECTP 28 @40cm.
- A <Duplicate Test> button is in the works.
- Temperature Profile page
- Temperature profile values do not populate the Profile (visible on left), but they are on the final graph.
- Density page
- Density profile values do not populate the Profile (visible on left), but they are on the final graph.
Save Snowpit and Preview
- If you like it, then click on the <Save, Lock, and Download Snowpit> button to get your 4 options: JPG, PNG, SnowPilot XML or CAAML.
- Once you choose one of these your pit becomes “Locked” and you can no longer edit it.
- Clicking Edit Snowpit allows you to keep working on it.