SMS

5 New Features in SMS 13.0 Beta

We’re happy to announce the beta version of SMS 13.0 is now available. Our developers have been working hard to improve SMS to make the user experience more enjoyable.

To help you learn about some of the new features, we’ve compiled this list of three new features in SMS 13.0 Beta.

  1. Notes can now be added to Properties dialog. Right-clicking on most items in the Project Explorer now have a Properties command that will bring up a dialog with a Notes tab. We have found many uses for this, including making notes about the differences between different map coverages or scatter sets.
  2. New tools to support the use of lidar data. You might have used lidar files in the past and noticed that the interface was a little confusing and sometimes slow. After examining how the process could be improved, we made improvements to the import process and changed how SMS interacts with lidar data. We hope you find our new lidar functionality is both faster and makes working with lidar data easier.
  3. A bridge scour coverage has been added. This allows exporting bridge scour values to the Hydraulic Toolbox to use in analyzing a bridge site. This tool requires having a 2D mesh with elevation data, a water surface elevation, a water depth, and velocity datasets. Most of the values needed will be automatically generated, making bridge scouring faster and easier.
  4. Floodplain delineation has been improved using the Map Flood tool. This tool allows accessing FEMA data to automatically designate flood areas in your project. The tool can also work with local data provided as a scatter set.
  5. A 2D scatter set can now be converted into a raster file. Right-clicking on scatter set item in the Project Explorer now has a new Raster -> Scatter command. Creating a raster from your scatter data can help facilitate sharing data across different applications.

These are only some of the many new and updated features in SMS 13.0 Beta. You can find a bigger list of them here. Along with these new features, we are also excited to offer new tutorials instructing users on how to best utilize the new features. Try out the beta by downloading it today!

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Performing a Silent Install of XMS

Are you an IT administrator needing to perform a silent install of GMS, SMS, or WMS in a classroom or office? Some classrooms and offices have multiple students or employees changing machines regularly. Non-administrator users are often unable to change the licensing password, lock, or server when these license settings are stored in the global area of the registry. Because of this, we changed the license settings so they are now stored in the user area of the registry. This means that each user account requires this to be setup.

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 have to manually update the network lock server address 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, replacing "license" with the name or IP address of the network lock server. For example, if the network lock server was at 127.0.0.27, you would use “127.0.0.27”:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00M
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\EMRL\WMS]
    "Netenble.001"="license"

    Note: This information was created using Windows 7. Because different Windows versions can have different REG file formats, we recommend you install WMS on one machine, register it to the correct network lock server, then export the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\EMRL\WMS] 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 11.0, the default location for the folder is “C:\Program Files\WMS 11.0 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. Try it out today!

Creating SRH-2D Pressure Zones with Overtopping

Do you have a location in your SRH-2D project for a box culvert or pressure zone with overtopping?

It is a common feature added to many SRH-2D models. Depending on how the pressure zone is created in SMS, this can be a tricky process for SRH-2D to handle. Here are some steps and tips for creating this feature successfully in SMS.

1 Use Quadrilateral Elements

Create quadrilateral elements between the boundaries of the pressure zone. Using quadrilateral elements tends to increase the stability and reliability of the SRH-2D model run. Quadrilateral elements can be created in one of two ways.

The first is to create the quadrilateral elements when creating the 2D mesh. Create a polygon for the area between and around the pressure zone. Assign this polygon with the Patch mesh type in the 2D Mesh Polygon Properties dialog.

The second method is to create the quadrilateral elements directly in the mesh using the Split/Merge tool and the Switch Element tool. This can be time-consuming, so it is only recommended for small adjustments.

2 Create Voids

Create voids in the mesh on either side of the pressure zone. There are two options for creating these voids, but one option seems to work better.

The first option, and the more stable one, is to create the voids on either side of the pressure zone when generating the mesh. Create the voids as polygons and assign them the None mesh type.

The second option is to generate the mesh then use the Select Elements tool to select and delete the elements where the voids should be. Using this method requires renumbering the mesh nodes. There is a risk that you will not be able to delete all of the nodes related to the elements which can make your mesh unusable to SRH-2D.

3 Assign Boundary Conditions

Two arcs are needed to define the pressure zone. Each arc should be created on an SRH-2D boundary condition coverage. When creating the arcs, make certain all 2D mesh elements between the arcs are quadrilateral elements. Also, it is advisable to have at least one row of quadrilateral elements just past the downstream arc.

Once the arcs have been drawn, select both arcs and open the SRH-2D Linear BC dialog. Set both arcs to the Pressure type and turn on the Overtopping option.

Both the boundary condition coverage and the 2D mesh can be added to your SRH-2D simulation to have a pressure zone with overtopping included in the results.

Try out adding a pressure zone in the community edition of SMS today!

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Converting Units

Seeing which units are being used in a project or for a particular object within the project is fairly easy. Converting the units from, for example, U.S. feet to meters, can introduce problems into a project if you do not do it in the correct way.

Reproject

Reprojecting the data involves moving the data from one coordinate system to another. So if your data is in a UTM coordinate system in meters and the rest of your project is in a State Plane projection that uses U.S. survey feet, reprojecting can change the data to match. Conceptually, the data will remain in the same location, but the data will be adjusted to the new units.

To reproject a dataset:

  1. Right-click on the dataset in the Project Explorer and select Reproject.
  2. In the Reproject dialog, the current projection is shown on the left. On the right side, set the new projection and units.

When converting units through reprojection, keep in mind that Z values (elevations) don’t always convert correctly. Round off errors sometimes occur when reprojecting data. In general, reproject does well in changing the X and Y units. The Z value, if it has been set as the bathymetry, typically also converts units well using the reproject option. Other datasets often do not convert between units using the reproject method.

When converting from rasters to scatter sets, the elevation is usually recognized and converted correctly.

Dataset Calculator

Datasets units can be converted using the Dataset Calculator. This is often necessary when the data has been reprojected, but not all of the datasets can be converted using that method. For example, a velocity dataset or conductivity data.

To convert a dataset with the Dataset Calculator:

  1. Select the desired dataset in the Project Explorer.
  2. Select the Data Calculator macro, or the Data Calculator command or the Dataset Toolbox command in the Data menu.
  3. Select the dataset to convert, then multiple or divide the dataset by the conversion value.

There are a few numbers it is useful to have when doing these conversions:

  • 0.304800609601 meters is equal to one U.S. Survey foot
  • 3.28083333333 U.S. Survey feet are equal to one meter
  • 0.3048 meters is equal to one International foot
  • 3.28083989501 International feet are equal to one meter

Note that there are many datasets that will not work with the Data Calculator.

In the end, make certain all the data being used in your model is in the correct units. Having mismatched units will typically create model errors and generate inaccurate results.

Try reprojecting data or using the Data Calculator to convert units in GMS, SMS, or WMS today!
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