Hebden Rising

For community recovery planning, visualisation of the state of assets is critical. Assets in this context could include community spaces (schools, churches, town halls), businesses (food, basics) or infrastructure. This is true for coordination of the immediate recovery (which assets require attention), and for the ongoing recovery. This is especially true for communities which rely heavily on the visitor economy, as sending the message "we're open" is critical.

Hebden Rising was created following the Boxing Day 2015 floods. It was a response to the question β€˜Is x open yet?’. An immediate response to this was the creation of a Facebook group. This became unwieldy as more businesses began to open, and it was difficult to validate the truth of claims being made in the group. It was also almost impossible to find out if a specific business was open, unless asking directly.

Screenshot of Hebden Rising website

The process for creating the site was:

  1. Survey the town, street by street and capture the state of the shops. As this was being done, Instagram pictures were taken of each.
  2. Enter this into a Google Fusion table, and geolocate each property. This was a very time-consuming step, and collecting this information in advance would be highly beneficial.
  3. Publish the site based on code in the hebdenrising gitub repository. This is based on Cloudmade leaflet and map styles from Stamen, as well as OpenStreetMap.

Sadly, this is but the start of the process. As the situation changes, it is important to continue to manage the database. It would be sensible to have a taskforce to make the updates. We previously tried to allow anyone to update shop status, but this led to problems with spam and misinformation. Given this was precisely the issues we were trying to avoid, we decided an editorial team was better. This is more onerous to manage. A registration for affected assets might be better, but would require a more robust site with authentication.


The site is hosted on GitHub pages, with all the content being managed in the hebdenrising github repository. The site is on the gh-pages branch.

Data is hosted in a Google Fusion table with the following columns:

Column name Description
Name Name of asset (business, school, etc)
Street_number Number or name of property
Street_name Street property is located on
Postcode Postcode of property
Location Lat / Lng of property
Status Status of property from Closed, Popped-up elsewhere, Planned reopening, Partly open, Fully open
Comments Any other comments - e.g. link to website, alternative details

An admin client is being created at present.