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Cover image for MonarchMap: Help save the Monarch butterfly with New Relic πŸ¦‹

MonarchMap: Help save the Monarch butterfly with New Relic πŸ¦‹

emma profile image Emma Goto πŸ™ ・3 min read

Each year, Monarch butterflies make a 3000-mile migration across North America. But climate change is impacting their migration patterns and their breeding grounds.

As a result, these beautiful insects are now threatened with extinction.

Photo of a Monarch butterfly

Gathering data on the location and migration patterns of these butterflies is an important step towards keeping them from going extinct. For the New Relic hackathon, I've built a tool to track these butterflies.

Report a butterfly sighting with MonarchMap

MonarchMap lets you report Monarch butterfly sightings by filling out a form:

Form to submit Monarch butterfly sighting

You can then view these sightings, day-by-day, on a map to track their migration over time:

A map of Monarch butterfly sighitngs

MonarchMap is built using a number of technologies:

  • Blitz.js
  • Tailwind CSS
  • MapBox
  • New Relic

You can check out the full code on my Github

How does MonarchMap use New Relic?

New Relic is a platform that lets you monitor and analyse the performance of your site. I made use of four separate features/APIs that New Relic provides when creating this app.

New Relic Browser monitoring agent

By copy-pasting a JavaScript snippet into my app, I can view a New Relic dashboard that shows the app’s performance, such as page load times:

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 9.34.16 pm

New Relic Alerts

New Relic also lets you set up alerting rules. In my case, I set up a rule for site performance. In the case where page load times become slow, I will receive an alert to my email:

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 9.34.47 pm

Out of this world!

I’m entering MonarchMap under the hackathon’s β€œOut of this world” category. So when I was coming up with my idea, I tried to think - how could I use New Relic in an innovative way?

The solution I settled on was to use New Relic as my app’s database.

This isn’t technically what you’re supposed to use New Relic for, but I figured, if I could do it, why not?

New Relic Event API

New Relic has an Event API you can use to send custom events. When a user reports a butterfly sighting, this is registered as an event in New Relic. You can then make dashboards to view this data in New Relic:

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 9.28.18 pm

New Relic NerdGraph

New Relic has a GraphQL API called NerdGraph. You can use their handy API explorer to craft your GraphQL query:

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 9.46.02 pm

I made use of it to grab a list of all of my custom events. This is what powers the sightings map! This means that my app is fully functional without its own database - all thanks to New Relic.


I enjoy participating in DEV hackathons, and this one was no exception! I got to spend a bit of time exploring some cool tech, and I actually learned a lot about the Monarch butterfly in the process as well.

The official submission for this hackathon is viewable over at therelicans.com.

Discussion (2)

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alexlsalt profile image
Alex Morton

Always love your projects, Emma!!! Great work!

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emma profile image
Forem Open with the Forem app