Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

Tips for Exporting a MODPATH Project

MODPATH works with MODFLOW to show particle tracking information. Once you have successfully completed a MODFLOW project, you may want to share that information collected through MODPATH with your other colleagues. Exporting the MODPATH data can allow you to share specific information with them.

Typically, the Save As command in the File menu and the right-click Export command in the Project Explorer are used to export MODPATH data from GMS. When using these commands, there are some tips for getting the most out of them.

Exportin MODFLOW
Exporting MODPATH Flowlines to a KMZ File

The flowlines from a successful MODPATH run can be exported as a KMZ file using the Save As command. When doing this, pay attention to the following:

  • Use the Display Options to make the flowline more visible before exporting to a KMZ file.
  • Make certain that the projection/coordinate system of your MODPATH project has been set correctly. KMZ files require that a coordinate system be set therefore GMS cannot create a file if there is no projection.
  • Objects in the Project Explorer can be set to different projections. Be certain to review the projections of all objects when exporting a KMZ file.
Exporting Points

Using the Save As command, the particle points of the MODPATH project can be exported to a shapefile.

  • When exporting particle points from MODPATH it is important to note that endpoints will need to be exported with intermediate points.
  • Another option is to use the Text Tab Delimited Pathline File option, which prints out the location and could be quickly parsed to pull the X and Y locations for the last time step of each particle.
  • MODPATH output can be exported to a shapefile or text delimited file by right-clicking on your MODPATH particle set in the Project Explorer and selecting "Export".
  • In the "Export Particle Sets" dialog that comes up, you can then change the "Save as type" option at the bottom to the type (pathlines, points, vectors), and format (shapefile, text delimited file) you prefer.

Many of these tips apply to exporting other numeric modeling data in GMS. Try out the different export functionalities in GMS today!

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Obtaining DEM and TIN Data in WMS

For many watershed modeling projects, having the correct DEM or TIN can make a huge difference. Importing a DEM or TIN into WMS can be done in any of a few ways.

The easiest way to obtain a DEM or TIN is to import a file from your computer directly into your project. This can be done using any of the methods for opening a file: the Open command, drag-and-drop, etc.

Once your DEM or TIN file is in WMS, check to make certain it is in the correct module. In order for WMS to make use of DEM or TIN, it often needs to be in the Terrain Data module. Sometimes, a DEM or TIN will be imported as a raster file or scatter set. In order to fix this, the DEM or TIN needs to be converted.

  • When imported as a raster file, right-click on the raster file in the Project Explorer and select Convert To | DEM. Then select the resample size for the DEM.
  • When imported as a scatter set, right-click on the scatter set in the Project Explorer and select Convert | Scatter Points to TIN.

Once the data has been moved to the Terrain Data module, it can be moved from a TIN to DEM or a DEM to TIN as needed. This is done by right-clicking on the DEM or TIN and using the Convert commands.

Converting a DEM to a TIN

Knowing how to convert data to be either a DEM or TIN in the Terrain Data module allows you to make use of the Import from Web and Online Maps functions in WMS to obtain DEMs and TINs. Other data sources can be used, when available.

A DEM can also be obtained when using the Hydrologic Modeling Wizard. In the Download Data step, elevation data can be downloaded that will automatically be placed in the Terrain Data module as a DEM.

Make use of DEMs and TINs in your watershed modeling using WMS today!

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Using the Select/Delete Data tool in SMS

Do you have a project that requires selecting a specific region of a mesh or grid to properly gather the necessary data for that area? For example, perhaps you need to select the mesh elements in the area of a bridge so that the elements can be refined. In order to accomplish either of this, there are a couple of options.

One option is to change the attributes directly within an already established mesh or grid by selecting individual cells, elements, or nodes. This could be very time consuming in a large mesh or grid.

Other selection tools, such as the Select by Poly tool, could be used. However, another option is to use the Select/Delete Data tool in SMS.

The Select/ Delete Data tool uses a polygon in the Map module to select objects in a grid, or mesh. It can also be used for selecting points or triangles in a scatter set or feature objects on a different map coverage. This can go quickly if you already have the desired polygon created on a map coverage, such as a materials coverage. Furthermore, the tool can be used to delete objects inside the select polygon.

Select/Delete Data in SMS

Only a few steps are needed in order to use the Select/ Delete Data tool.

  1. After locating the area that needs to be altered, use the Create Feature Arc tool to enclose the desired area or use an existing polygon.
  2. Next, build a polygon using the Feature Objects | Build Polygons menu command if you are not using an existing polygon.
  3. Select the polygon using the Select Polygon tool.
  4. Select the Feature Objects | Select/ Delete Data menu command.
  5. In the Select/Delete Data dialog, choose whether to select or delete the data and which data the function should be applied to.

The data options to choose from are based on what is in the project. You can also select what object in the data object to select or delete. For example, with a 2D mesh, you may choose to select the mesh elements, nodes, or duplicate nodes.

Try out the Select/Delete Data tool in SMS today!

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3 New Features in GMS 10.5 Beta

We are happy to be announcing the beta release of GMS 10.5! Thanks to the hardworking developers here at Aquaveo there are a number of new and exciting features to this new version.

To name a few, we gathered a list of three new and improved features in GMS 10.5 beta release!

  1. MODFLOW 6 Grid Approach
    Additional functionality has been added for working with MODFLOW 6. A MODFLOW 6 model can now be built in GMS using the grid approach. The new MODFLOW 6 interface uses a simulation approach that is different from the interface for other MODFLOW applications in GMS. This approach also allows for multiple simulations to be included in a single project.
  2. TVM Package
    The TVM package is now available in GMS 10.5 for use with MODFLOW-USG Transport. The Time-Variant Materials (TVM) package allows the changing of hydraulic conductivity and storage values between stress periods. Through a transient simulation, it can also be used to change these parameters in a continuous manner not just in increments between stress periods. This will help display the different changes made to the project over time.
  3. TVM Package in GMS 10.5
  4. Tile map services (TMS) can now be used for import or background image display.
    In this new version of GMS the ability to import TMS into projects needing tile map services has been made available. This provides access to maps that can now be rendered to map tiles at fixed scales. Rather than trying to break down one large image, this helps to be able to view a map in a simpler way. It also helps to be able to pinpoint and save one particular tile of a map in case only that tile is needed as opposed to the entire image.

These are only some of the changes that have been made to the new beta release version of GMS. Explore even more of the changes by downloading GMS 10.5 beta from our downloads page.

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Tethys Training in Kenya

Aquaveo was recently given the opportunity by NASA SERVIR to develop a training course involving the Tethys Platform. NASA SERVIR is a joint venture between NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

RCMRD Building

SERVIR works to provide better informative forecasts regarding the risks of floods as well as an outline of what happens after the devastation of flooding in an area. Thus, it was exciting to participate in furthering their mission to provide state-of-the-art, satellite-based, and Earth monitoring data.

In partnership with NASA SERVIR, Aquaveo led in developing and delivering training courses on app development through the use of the Tethys Platform. The Tethys Platform provides a suite of free software which helps in creating water resource applications. Due to the unique system Tethys uses, less code and written HTML is needed for the development of applications. These are just a couple of things that make the Tethys Platform a useful resource for web developers.

From February 24th to the 28th, twenty-one individuals from Ghana, Senegal, Nepal, Columbia, Peru, USA, and Kenya traveled to the SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa Hub at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), located in Naribi, Kenya to attend both a communicative and individualized training.

Tethy training in Kenya

The Regional Centre For Mapping Resource For Development has been dedicated to promoting sustainability through the use of GEO-information. Their aid in supplying tools and space for Aquaveo to lead a training on the Tethys Platform was another step toward promoting sustainable development world wide. After four days of training, each participant left with even more knowledge on app development and will in turn further the progress in the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development's (RCMRD's) mission.

Tethy training in Kenya

The majority of the training focused showing how to develop applications using the Tethys Platform. Each contributor also took part in a more individualized training where one of the four training days was entirely dedicated toward working on and receiving help with their own personal projects. Aquaveo enjoyed the time spent working with these amazing participants and can’t wait to do it again.

Two additional training courses will be provided by Aquaveo within the year. We have the opportunity to meet more participants and lead a training in the areas of Kathmandu, Nepal and Huntsville, Alabama.

Experience learning more about Tethys Platform app development and keep an eye out for more details about future training courses!

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Tips for Sharing SRH-2D Project Files

In SMS, projects are saved out as a series of files. These files should be kept together when sending a project to a coworker or associate. The exact files needed often varies based on the numeric model being used. This article will discuss the files needed when sharing an SRH-2D project.

There are a few items to keep in mind when sharing your SRH-2D project files.

Make certain all of the files have been included when sending them to someone else. The core files that are generally needed include:

  • SMS project file (*.sms)
  • Map data file (*.map)
  • Mesh data file (*_meshes.h5)
  • Materials data file (*.materials)
  • Any GIS or image files such as TIFs, JPGs, or shapefiles

One of the easier ways to make certain all of these files are included, is to use the Save As Package menu command. This command is found in the File menu. Using this command will place all of the files listed above into a single ZIP file.

The Save As Package command
Solution Files
If you have already run SHR-2D and have solution files, these files should be included with the other files. When opening the project file, sometimes the solution files will not be visible. To import the SRH-2D solution, select the Open command, then locate the *_XMDF.h5 file and import it into the project.
HY-8 Culverts

When sharing an SRH-2D project that includes HY-8 culverts, be certain to include the HY-8 file. It also may be necessary for the person receiving the files to relaunch HY-8 before running SRH-2D again. This is done by doing the following:

  1. Right-click on the boundary condition coverage containing the culvert and select the HY-8 Options menu command.
  2. Select the HY-8 file.
  3. Select the HY-8 arcs, then right-click and select the Assign Linear BC command.
  4. Launch HY-8.
Restart Files

If the project used a restart file, be certain to also include the *.rst file with the project. In some cases, this file needs to be specified again in the SRH-2D Model Control dialog before running SRH-2D.

Keeping track of all of the files necessary for an SRH-2D project makes certain the project can be used by anyone. Explore SRH-2D and other models in SMS today!

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Tips for Using the Data Calculator in GMS

The Data Calculator in GMS is a powerful tool that allows you to generate new datasets from existing data.

The Data Calculator can be used to to create datasets that show:

  • The difference between model runs
  • The minimum or maximum of two datasets
  • An aquifer's water level
  • And many other applications

To help you get the most out of the Data Calculator, here are some tips for using this tool.

Datasets can be added to the expression by either double-clicking the dataset in the Dataset section of the calculator, or selecting the dataset and using the Add to Expression button. Make certain you are selecting the correct dataset before adding it to the expression.

When adding operators to the expression, be careful. Double-clicking the operator buttons will enter the operator into the expression twice. If this happens, be sure to delete the additional operator before computing the dataset.

Operators in the Data Calculator

Review datasets before using them in the Data Calculator. This can be done before starting the Data Calculator by using any of the available tools in GMS. Once in the Data Calculator, you can review datasets by selecting the dataset and clicking the Dataset Info button.

When adding a dataset to the calculation, either specific time steps can be used or all time steps can be used. When using specific time steps, select the desired time steps before adding the dataset to the equation, or enter the dataset number followed by a colon and the number of the time step.

Using a specific time step is the default option. To use all the time steps, select Use all time steps before adding the dataset to the expression, or enter the dataset number followed by a colon and the word "all".

Now that you know a little more about the Data Calculator, try it out with your projects in GMS today!

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Using Command Line Switches for the XMS Installer

If you work as a system administrator or in an IT department, you may need to know how to install GMS, SMS or WMS silently or with less visibility. Fortunately, we have a few options for this.

Previously we have discussed performing a silent install of XMS, this article will discuss options that run as command line switches. For example, when running the WMS 11.0.5 installer with no UI, you will enter the command "wms11.0.5full64bit.exe/qn" through cmd.

When installing XMS, you have the following parameters you can set:

full UI: /qf

This is the default parameter used by the installer. This means that the end user will see the full installation wizard the same way they would by running it through Windows Explorer.

reduced UI: /qr The user interface does not show any wizard dialogues.

This is a form of automatic installation that will skip all wizard dialogues, though you will still see a full UI showing that WMS is being installed.

basic UI: /qb Only a progress bar will be shown during the installation

Command line install progress bar

This option is similar to /qr but, instead of showing the full UI from our installer, it shows a progress bar with default Windows installer decorations. This takes less screen real estate while still giving you visibility into the installation process.

no UI: /qn No UI will be shown during the installation.

This option does not show any UI at all, instead opting to run the install progress in the background. This is ideal for if you are installing the software on a computer that's currently in use and don’t want to interrupt the work currently being done.

Current versions of XMS software can be found on Aquaveo's downloads page.

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Utilizing Data Modification Tools in SMS

The Dataset Toolbox in SMS allows viewing your data in many different ways, while also being used to modify and create new datasets from already existing datasets. The different tools in the toolbox each use a specific set of functions to modify selected datasets.

One tool in the Dataset Toolbox that can prove to be helpful is the Filter tool. This tool creates a new dataset based on the selected filtering criteria.

For example, say you are filtering your numeric model output to show depths between the minimum and maximum depth, then you wish to filter the depth data for velocity between minimum and maximum range. This tool could help to show how a fish habitat changes over time or for any other purpose you can think of.

There may be multiple ways to accomplish this task, but one method would be to filter the velocity dataset to the desired range and then map that activity to the depth dataset. Using this example, you could do the following:

  1. Open the Dataset Toolbox.
  2. Select the Filter tool.
  3. Use the tool to filter the Velocity Mag dataset to the desired range and apply NULL outside the range.
The Filter tool in the Dataset Toolbox

The Map Activity tool is another tool that can be helpful. This tool maps the activity from one dataset to a second dataset. It helps show only the values of interest on a particular dataset. To continue the previous example:

  1. Select the Map Activity tool in the Dataset Toolbox.
  2. Using the dataset created in the previous steps, map the activity from the new dataset to the depth dataset (Value Dataset).

The new dataset will appear in the Project Explorer, showing the values of interest. If the dataset is a transient then a film loop could be made, showing how it changes over time.

The Filter and Map Activity tools are only two of many tools available in SMS’s Dataset Toolbox. Try out these tools and others in SMS today!

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Exploring Hide, Show, and Isolate in GMS

Many projects in GMS can end up being visually busy. Having a large grid and dozens of features can make it hard to see specific areas clearly. To help with this, GMS provides the Hide, Show, and Isolate functions.

How to Hide Cells

This feature allows you to select different project cells and simultaneously hide them from view in the Graphics Window.

  1. Select the individual, or group of cells that need to be hidden.
  2. Once it is highlighted, click the Hide macro in the toolbar, or right-click and select the Hide command.

Remember that when cells are hidden from view this does not mean they have been deleted from your project entirely. Even if they are not visible it is only necessary to select the Show macro on the toolbar and the hidden cells will reappear.

Also, hiding cells does not make those cells inactive. They will still be included in your model run.

How to Show Cells

To reverse the hidden elements, click the Show macro in the toolbar and any hidden cells in your project will reappear. This can be important if you have inherited a project and suspect there are hidden cells.

Isolating Cells

Isolating cells hides cells that are not selected, unlike Hide which hides the selected cells. To isolate cells:

  1. Select the cells in the Graphics Window you wish to isolate.
  2. Once cells are highlighted, select the Isolate macro on the toolbar, or right-click and select the Isolate command.

Using a Polygon

Another option for isolating or hiding cells is to use a polygon in the map coverage. To do this:

  1. Right-click on the selected polygon.
  2. Click Select Intersecting Objects from the menu that appears.
  3. In the Select Objects of Type dialog choose the geometric object to use.
  4. With the cells selected, you can now use the Hide or Isolate function.
Isolating cells using a polygon

Try using the Hide, Show, and Isolate features in GMS today!

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