Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

Performing a Silent Install for ALS

Are you an IT administrator needing to perform a silent install of GMS, SMS, or WMS in a classroom or office? We have gone over the process to do this in the past. However, our licensing methods have changed since those instructions were first written. Because of this, we have felt it would be useful to update our users on the new method of configuration so they will be able to properly set up their silent installs. This post will review registration for the new licensing method and how to perform silent installs with it.

This silent install (or quiet install) workaround requires each user to have the rights to modify the registry. If registry access is restricted, a network administrator can do this by opening the Group Policy Management Editor and creating a startup script that automatically runs the batch file whenever the computer is restarted.

Note: Editing the Registry in Windows is a very advanced administration step. Please always create a backup of the Registry before making changes.

It can be a burden to manually update the local code in HKEY_CURRENT_USER for each user on each computer. The silent install process is simplified by creating a Windows Registry file that contains the license information and a batch file that can be executed to insert the registry information and launch WMS. The batch file automatically updates the registry for the user and then opens the WMS application. This is the safest way to edit the registry key, as well. The batch file can then be placed on each computer that needs to be updated, and the individual users can execute it as needed.

This workaround uses WMS as an example. This information also applies to GMS and SMS. You can see an example of a registry file in step 1 and the batch file in step 2, below.

  1. Create a file, "Netenble.001.reg", as follows:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00M
    "ALS"="1"
    "ALSHost"="127.0.0.1"
    "ALSPort"="56789"

    ALS = 1 specifies the new registration wizard, with new "Local" codes beginning with L, F, or E, instead of 0 for the old network lock. ALSHost = 127.0.0.1 because the code is being located on the local machine. And ALSPort = 56789 should be the default - you can alternatively specify your own port if you would like. You could also specify an ALSCode (license code) as well if you don’t want registration to be required when first launching WMS.
    Note: This information was created using Windows 10. Because different Windows versions can have different REG file formats, we recommend you install WMS on one machine, register it to the correct local code, then export the registry key. Open the registry file in the text editor and remove every line except those similar to those shown in the image above, and save the file as "Netenble.001.reg".
  2. Create a file, "wms11.bat", that will update the registry and start WMS:
    reg import Netenble.001.reg
    wms.exe
  3. Place these two files in the WMS folder in the image that will be distributed to the affected computers. For example, for the 64-bit version of WMS 11.1, the default location for the folder is “C:\Program Files\WMS 11.1 64-bit\”.
  4. Create a desktop shortcut to the batch file for the convenience of the user. If doing this via a startup script in the Group Policy Management Editor, this step can be skipped.

This silent install workaround can save you significant time as a network administrator. If you experience issues while performing a silent install, feel free to contact Aquaveo for assistance.

Associating HY-8 Files with SMS

Have you wondered about how HY-8 interacts with SRH-2D in SMS? This post will review what HY-8 and SRH-2D are doing as they interact with each other.

SRH-2D has an option to use the HY-8 software to define culverts. Using the HY-8 software allows for greater definition for the culvert as opposed to defining the culvert directly in SMS. The Launch HY-8 button in the SRH-2D Assign BC dialog creates the HY-8 file and associates the file with the culvert arcs and SMS project. It is important to keep this file with the SMS project, otherwise the HY-8 file may become unassociated with the culvert.

Multiple culverts can be in the same HY-8 file, so be certain the correct culvert has been associated to the culvert arcs in SMS.

SRH-2D culvert using HY-8

When assigning properties to arcs that have been set to a BC Type of Culvert HY-8, there is a checkbox option to turn on 2D terrain for overtopping. When this is unchecked, SRH-2D will create a *_HYn.dat for the crossing. When this is checked, SRH-2D will instead create an *_INTERNALn.dat file for the crossing. In this case, SRH-2D will use the HY-8 table, but won’t see the structure as a HY-8 culvert, but as essentially a link structure.

Typically, the overtopping option is used when overtopping flow is expected to travel in a different direction from the rest of the flow. If the flow over the culvert and the flow in the culvert are both flowing in the same direction, it is not recommended to use 2D Overtopping. This is because the link structure in SRH-2D can get flow from both upstream and downstream of the boundary arc and the flow coming out of the downstream arc can go in any direction.

When SRH-2D runs, it will generate output files that are sent to an Output_MISC folder in the file directory of your current SMS project. Here, HY-8 culvert report files and/or pressure flow overtopping report files should be found, following the respective naming schemes of “*_HYn.dat” and “*_INTERNALn.dat”. The “*” is a placeholder for the specific case name specified in the model control, and the “n” will be replaced with a number in a series, for as many relevant zones or arc pairs exist in the series. We unfortunately don’t have any control over the naming convention SRH-2D uses.

More information about the different types of SRH-2D output files that may be put out after an SRH-2D run can be found here at the Aquaveo XMS Wiki.

Try out using HY-8 with SRH-2D in SMS 13.1 today!

Blog tags: 

Incorporating Transport Observation Points into a MT3DMS Model

Have you wanted to incorporate the TOB package while running MT3DMS in GMS? We have a workflow that can help with this, as part of building an MT3DMS model in GMS with a conceptual model approach. This post will review how to incorporate transport observation points into your MT3DMS model in GMS.

To do so, use the following steps:

Transport Observatin Package
  1. With your MT3DMS model already open in GMS, right-click the conceptual model and select New Coverage... to create a new coverage and bring up the Coverage Setup dialog.
  2. While in the Coverage Setup dialog, turn on whichever options you want to be observing for in the Obs. Data column of the Observation Points section.
  3. Once done with the Coverage Setup dialog and with a new coverage created, create some points within the coverage.
  4. Using the Select Points\Nodes tool, select the points you have just created, right-click on one of them, and select Attribute Table… to bring up the Attribute Table dialog.
  5. Set the Type drop-down in the All row to obs. pt in the Attribute Table dialog to set the BC type to Observation Points for the points.
  6. Once done with the Attribute Table dialog and with the points set as observation points, right-click the new coverage and select Map To | MODFLOW/MODPATH to map the new coverage to MODFLOW.
  7. Now select MT3DMS | Basic Transport Package… to bring up the Basic Transport Package dialog.
  8. Select the Packages... button to bring up the MT3DMS/RT3D Packages dialog.
  9. Turn on the option for Transport observation package.
  10. Now select MT3DMS | Transport Observation Package... to bring up the Transport Observation Package dialog.
  11. Now you will have the ability to turn on the option to Compute concentrations at observation points and select coverages with concentration observations to be used.

Try out incorporating transport observation points into MT3DMS models in GMS 10.5 today!

Blog tags: 

Tips for Using the Measure Tool in WMS

Have you used the Measure tool in WMS? You probably have, but would you like to know more about the tools capabilities? This post will review the capabilities of the Measure tool and give some tips for using it.

The Measure tool allows you to measure distance, slope, and in some cases angles along a path you define. It is designed to give you real-world measurement sizes, and can be useful when the scale of parts of a model aren't immediately apparent. When the tool is selected, you will be able to define a series of line segments along a path. This path can be continually defined until it is terminated by double-clicking. When the path is terminated, it will disappear from the Graphics Window, but along the bottom of WMS, in the Help Message window, the relevant values will be displayed in red text. These will be updated whenever the Measure tool is used, reflecting the most recent path that was defined.

Example of using the Measure tool

The units for distance and slope will depend on the units set by the projection, or by the project defaults, either ft and ft/ft (feet) or m and m/m (meters). It is recommended to make certain you have set the correct units for your project before using the Measure tool.

Angle will only be reported when a line only has two points, whereas distance and slope are always reported. Angle will be measured in radians. Angle will be calculated by measuring an angle starting from a reference line pointing south from the first point, and ending at the line segment defined by the two points.

If you have a TIN or DEM loaded into the project, the Measure tool will be able to get slope values. When the Measure tool is used on an area without elevation data, the slope will be given a value of zero. Slope will be calculated by taking the distance-weighted average of the slopes of all the segments. For each segment, slope will be calculated by dividing the change in elevation across the points by the xy distance of the segment.

The Measure tool can help you build and design your project with accuracy. Try out the Measure tool in WMS 11.1 today!

Blog tags: 

Understanding SRH-2D Post-Processing

Do you want to know more about what happens when SMS completes post-processing for SRH-2D? When running SRH-2D, it helps to understand what exactly is happening during the post-processing phase of the SMS model run. This post will review how post-processing uses interpolation as it goes through SRH-2D.

To understand how post-processing fits into the SRH-2D process, first we need to look at what comes before it. When creating an SRH-2D model in SMS, the data is assigned as nodal data. This means that the boundary conditions, materials and other data is assigned to the nodes of the mesh. SRH-2D requires that the data be assigned to the center of the mesh elements (the centroid).

To allow the nodal data to be used by SRH-2D, SMS uses a pre-processing step that utilizes linear interpolation to interpolate the data that has been modelled in SMS into centroidal data for SRH-2D to use. After SHR-2D has finished processing the data, it creates results that use centroidal data. This is where the post-processor comes in.

The post-processor for SRH-2D takes the SRH-2D results and interpolates the data from centroidal data and converts it into nodal data. This allows SMS to import and display the solution data.

Post-processing for SRH-2D

If the post-processor fails in its attempt, this usually means the centroidal data generated from SRH-2D is not valid. In this case, it could be possible that the model failed to converge even if SRH-2D managed to completely finish its model run. It could also be possible that SRH-2D was made to run an invalid model that resulted in empty solution sets.

For more information on how to use SRH-2D with SMS, see the XMS Wiki article on SRH-2D in SMS. Future versions of SMS may make use of centroidal data without the need to interpolate data.

Now that you understand a little more about how SMS handles post-processing, try out SRH-2D in SMS 13.1 today!

Blog tags: 

Using the Drawing Grid in GMS

Have you needed to create precise drawing on your map coverage for your groundwater modeling project in GMS? Using the Drawing Grid display options can help with this. This post will review what these are and how they can be used in your GMS project.

When the drawing grid is turned on, you will have a grid which can be used to reference and measure positions in the project.

The Drawing Grid in the Graphics Window

To access the GMS Drawing Grid display options:

  1. Open up the Display Options dialog, either by going to the Display | Display Options command or clicking on the Display Options macro.
  2. Once the dialog has opened up, select Drawing Grid from the list on the left, and the dialog will populate with the relevant options.

The following is a list of the GMS Drawing Grid display options and what they do.

This Spacing option allows the user to specify by how many units each grid point is separated. This will determine how dense or scattered out the points are, so it is useful to set a value that won’t either be too cluttered or too open.

When the Snap option is selected, all new (not previously existing) vertices, nodes, points, etc., will snap to the nearest grid point when they are being created, or will interactively snap to grid points if they are being dragged. When this is not selected, the drawn grid will have no impact on where they will be placed. Turning this on can be useful when constructing certain features that are meant to conform to the more rigid structure of a grid.

When the Display Grid Lines option is selected, grid lines will be displayed, using the Line spacing increment to determine how many grid points are passed over before another line is drawn. There are also two buttons to the right of this option which will allow the user to customize the look of the lines. Using grid lines can help complement grid points by giving more of a structure to the drawing grid rather than it being just a set of points, especially when the lines are separated at a good distance.

When the Display Grid Points option is selected, grid points will be displayed similar to how the grid lines are displayed, except using the Point spacing increment instead of the Line spacing increment. Grid points not displayed are still functioning as intended within GMS, they just aren’t visible. There are also two buttons to the right of this option which will allow the user to customize the look of the points. Using grid points can help quantify in the Graphics Window where everything is placed and give it orientation, especially when the points are separated at a good distance.

Try experimenting with Drawing Grid display options in GMS 10.5 today!

Blog tags: 

Changing the Display Order in WMS

Have you been wanting to change the order that objects are displayed in the Graphics Window for your watershed projects in WMS? Within WMS, there is an option that can allow users to play around with this. This post will review how to utilize the Display Order functionality found in the Display Options dialog within WMS.

To locate the Display Order options in WMS, open up the Display Options dialog, either by clicking the Display Options macro or going to the Display | Display Options... command. Display Order should then be visible as one of the options on the left. There will be a checkbox for if Display Order should be activated or not. By default, this should be turned on.

As might be expected, turning the "Use Display Order" option on will cause objects to be displayed in the order laid out in the Display Order List. When the "Use Display Order" option is turned off, objects will be displayed in front of others based on which have XYZ coordinates closer to the user's eye rather than further. Depending on the scenario, it may be more visually helpful to have the option turned on or off.

For instance, in plan view, a delineated watershed may look better with display order turned on because when it is turned off, objects may look cluttered and bleed through each other. But for another example, in an oblique view, a delineated watershed may look better with display order turned off because when it is turned on, contours may look cluttered because objects are displaying primarily using display order instead of closer ones displaying in front of further ones.

When the "Use Display Order" option is turned on, the Display Order List will be active. The following options can be used to modify the order:

  • Move Up: Moves the selected item one spot higher on the list.
  • Move Down: Moves the selected item one spot lower on the list.
  • Move To Top: Moves the selected item to the very top of the list.
  • Move To Bottom: Moves the selected item to the very bottom of the list.
The Display Order options in WMS

When an item has been moved as far high or low as it can go, any attempt to move it further higher or lower will result in a warning message that you have selected the top or bottom of the list, and to select an item below or above the current selection.

Try out experimenting with display order in WMS 11.1 today!

Blog tags: 

Understanding SRH-2D No Flow Boundaries

Do you want to understand more about how SRH-2D uses no flow boundaries? Occasionally, you can encounter various challenges regarding no flow boundaries. This post will review how no flow boundaries interact with SRH-2D in order to avoid potential issues with your SRH-2D model.

Examples of no flow boundaries in SRH-2D

SRH-2D includes different types of no flow boundaries such as:

  • Boundary condition arcs assigned to be a "wall".
  • The elements touching a void in a mesh.
  • The boundaries of a mesh that are not assigned to be inflow, outflow, etc.

Make certain to review all of your no flow boundaries. In particular, if you used a shapefile or another coverage to create your boundary condition coverage review all of the arcs on the coverage. In SMS, the default SRH-2D boundary condition is a "wall", so any arcs on the boundary condition coverage that are not meant to be no flow arcs should be changed or removed.

An important aspect to understand for no flow boundaries is that for every element they touch, SRH-2D is essentially being told that water can't flow past the boundary. This changes how SRH-2D computes the flow of water through the model. Large elements that are part of no flow boundaries can impact the model flow more than desired, because the smallest unit SRH-2D can process is a single element. SRH-2D is not designed to assign multiple flow values to a single element.

With this restriction on flow for single elements in mind, large elements can have a disproportionate effect on the model if left in key areas. Therefore, in most cases it is important to make sure that elements around key areas of the model should be more refined. Larger elements should be left in less important areas where they will have less impact.

Now that you understand a little more about no flow boundaries, try out SRH-2D in SMS 13.1 today!

Blog tags: 

Using the Equal Color Segment Height Legend Option

Have you wanted the legend to better represent the scale of your contours in your GMS projects, especially if your intervals are logarithmic? Having a well-configured legend can be very helpful in interpreting the contours of your project in the Graphics Window. And a logarithmic scale for your legend can be useful when you have wide-ranging values in your model that you want to represent in a compact and nuanced way. This post will review how to modify your contour legend options and how your legend is scaled.

To access the GMS Contour Legend Options:

  1. First, contour options can be accessed either through relevant parts of the Display Options dialog (accessed from the Display Options macro) or through clicking on the Contour Options macro directly.
  2. Look to the bottom-left of the dialog and turn on the Legend checkbox.
  3. Click the Options button to bring up the Contour Legend Options dialog where all the contour legend options will be. This post won’t go into most of these options, but they include such options as setting the legend’s height and width, setting where in the graphics window it will be situated, and customizing its font.
Countour legend using an equal height option

The focus of this post will be the option to turn on Equal Color Segment Height. If the Contour Interval has been set to Number or Specified Interval, this option might not seem so useful, as the values for the contours should already be equally separated. But if the Contour Interval has been set to Specified Values, the Populate Values button will be clickable. This brings up the Value Population Method dialog, where different methods can be used to populate the values of the contours, including a Log Scale Method that will create a logarithmic rather than linear scale to the contours and their legend.

Normally, when a logarithmic scale is used for the contours, the legend will be as well, leading to a lot of the space on the legend being taken up by the higher values and a small amount of space being taken up by the more crowded lower values. Turning on Equal color segment height in the Contour Legend Options dialog can correct this, if that is how you want the legend to be displayed. This option will make the legend display logarithmically, with each logarithmic value displaying equally distant from each other. This means that the legend is no longer a linear gradient, but it better reflects the spread of a logarithmic scale when one is used.

Try experimenting with logarithmic contour intervals and other contour options in GMS 10.5 today!

Blog tags: 

How to Change the Temp Directory for WMS

Have you needed to specify the location of a temp directory when working with WMS? Starting in WMS 11.1, you can do this when necessary. It isn’t a feature many users will likely need to bother with, but it will come in handy when you need it. This post will review how to specify the temp directory that WMS will use, and why you might want to.

So what is the significance of temp files and temp directories? Temp files are often used in programs that are dealing with files that use larger amounts of data, such as graphics or video editing software. They help save changes, help programs run efficiently, and can restore progress in the case of a sudden crash or shutdown. They are also designed so that they will be deleted automatically when they are no longer needed.

Your computer should have automatic temp directories that it uses, but sometimes it is required to work with these directories yourself. This may be required for security purposes, to troubleshoot issues, to fulfill legal requirements, or for some other reasons.

This can be done by using the following workflow:

  1. Within WMS, click on Edit | Preferences... to bring up the Preferences dialog.
  2. Go to the General tab of the dialog.
  3. Towards the bottom of the dialog, activate the checkbox for Temporary directory.
  4. Click the Select… button that has now been made active to bring up the Browse For Folder dialog.
  5. Use this dialog to locate which folder will be the new temp directory. This dialog also allows a new folder to be added to your file directory with the Make New Folder button.
  6. The textbox next to the Temporary directory should now be populated with the new temp directory address.
  7. It is recommended to restart WMS for the changes to take effect.
The Temporary direction option in the Preferences dialog

Please note that most users should not play around with this feature. Changing the temp directory typically does not speed up performance or improve functionality. Unless you have a specific reason to change the temp file directory, do not change it as doing so indiscriminately can cause some of WMS’s functionality to stop working.

Besides being able to change the temp directory, check out what else can be done with the Preferences in WMS 11.1 today!

Blog tags: 

Pages