Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

Sharing WMS Project Files

After completing your project in WMS, are you needing to share your project files with a client or colleague? When doing this, it is important that you send them all of the files related to the project. All of the files for the project should be shared in the same folder. This article will go over some of the important files to include.

The most important file to share is the WMS XMDF Project File (*.wms). This file contains many elements of your project, but also acts as a directory for the other files being used by your project. To improve application performance, the WMS project file does not contain all of the data necessary to open the project, so it is important to include all relevant files when sharing your project.

In addition to the WMS project file, it is important to include GIS files that are in the project. This would include any shapefiles, image files, raster files, or projection files. WMS will ask you to locate these files if they are not in the same directory as the WMS project file when the project is opened. If the GIS files are no longer relevant to the project, they should be removed from the project before saving and sharing the WMS project file.

GIS items in a WMS project

Another file that is important to include is the map file (*.map). This file contains all data related to feature objects and map coverages in the project. Without it, many projects may be unable to open. Similarly, the tree file (*.tre) is necessary to import hydraulic and hydrologic data. Grid (*.grd) are needed to import grid geometry.

When a model run has been completed, it is important for the solution (*.sol) and output (*.out) files to be included with the project file. Without these, whoever receives the files will be unable to see the results of your model run.

Finally, be certain to include model specific files, such as those for HEC-HMS or GSSHA. Refer to the model documentation for information on these files.

One trick to help include all files in your project, is to use the Save As command and save the project to a new folder. Then make certain to move that folder to a new directory and open the project file to see if any files are missing.

Now that you know a little more about WMS files, try sharing your WMS projects today!

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Scalar/Vector Conversion in SMS

Datasets in SMS can be rendered as either scalar or vector data. Furthermore, SMS allows you to convert datasets between scalar and vector using either a right-click menu command or the Dataset Toolbox.

In the Project Explorer, the icon next to the dataset will show if it is a scalar or a vector dataset. In SMS, scalar datasets typically represent water surface elevation, depth, and magnitude. Vector datasets typically represent flow velocities and observed wind fields in the area.

When converting a scalar dataset to a vector dataset, two scalar datasets are needed. The scalar datasets need to be either magnitude and direction data, or x and y components. When converting vector data to scalar data, the result will be one or more datasets.

Converting Datasets with the Right-Click Menu

To convert a vector dataset to a scalar dataset, do the following:

  1. Right-click on the desired vector dataset in the Project Explorer.
  2. Select Vector to Scalars.
  3. After the dialog appears, options are available for the specification of either magnitude and direction or x and y components for the resulting scalar datasets.
Vector to scalar using the right-click menu

To convert scalar dataset to a vector dataset, do the following:

  1. Select two scalar datasets: either magnitude and direction or x and y components.
  2. Right-click and select Scalars to Vectors.
  3. In the dialog that appears, confirm that the components have been assigned correctly.

Note that if only one scalar dataset is selected, another dialog will appear asking you to select the second scalar dataset.

Converting Datasets with the Dataset Toolbox

The Dataset Toolbox can also be used to convert scalar datasets into vector datasets or vector datasets to scalar datasets. To do this:

  1. Click on the dataset in the Project Explorer to make it active.
  2. Select Data | Dataset Toolbox... This will bring up the Dataset Toolbox where options will be made available that are relative to the altering of the dataset.
  3. Navigate to the Tools section of the dialog and select either Scalar to Vector or Vector to Scalar.
  4. For the Scalar to Vector tool, select the dataset components to use.
  5. For the Vector to Scalar tool, select whether you want the dataset to be magnitude and velocity, or x and y components in the Options section of the dialog.
Vector to scalar using the Dataset Toolbox

The Dataset Toolbox also contains many other tools. Try them out in SMS today!

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Tips for Using MODPATH in GMS

MODPATH is designed to work with MOFLOW to show particle tracking information. Using MODPATH can provide valuable information to your groundwater model. With that in mind, here are a couple tips for using MODPATH.

Seeing the Breakdown of Position vs Time

After running MODPATH, you can use GMS to see the breakdown of position vs time.

  • Duplicate your particle set and change the duration for each to correspond to the end of a different time step. This will help visualize when the particles traveled along their pathlines.
  • View the Pathline Report by right-clicking on a particle set in the Project Explorer and selecting the View Pathline Report command.
MODPATH Pathline Report
MODPATH Crashing During a Transient MODFLOW-NWT/UPW Simulation

While MODPATH is quite stable, it can crash when used with some MODFLOW-NWT models. To avoid this, look at the following:

  • When the water level is below the bottom of the cell in MODFLOW-NWT, making the cell dry but not inactive, MODPATH calculations give bad values. Check the cell thickness to see if it is above the water level. Then, inactivate cells above the water level.
  • The alternative workflow, which is not appropriate for every model, would be to change your MODFLOW-NWT model so that either the cells do not go dry, or are set to be inactive from the beginning, which is what this user on this forum post chose to do.
Importing Old Versions of Particle Coordinate Files

GMS has the capability to read in older particle coordinate files. Old versions of the endpoint, pathline, and time series files are automatically detected and read by MODPATH-PLOT. When old particle coordinate files are read, all time step values are automatically set equal to 1 and the particle release time is set equal to 0. The discharge code (IDCODE) for all particles is set to 1 (normally terminated).

Using these tips can increase your MODPATH expertise. Try out MODPATH using GMS today!

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Exporting Data in CityWater

CityWater allows managing your water distribution network models. As an online application, it allows individuals across the organization to visualize, reference, and analyze existing models in a familiar map-based browser environment while maintaining the data integrity of the model.

When viewing the project details, the Export tab allows three different files to be exported for your use in other applications: a Report Map Shapefile, a Network Map Shapefile, and an EPANET Input File.

Export tab in CityWater

The Report Map Shapefile allows you to select the Variable and Time options to include in the file. For Variable, you can select from head, pressure, quality (links), quality (nodes), demand, pressure swing, velocity, or headloss. The time options include average, minimum, or maximum. Based on the selections, a shapefile with those options will be exported when you click the Export Report Map button.

The Export Network Map button under the Network Map Shapefile option will export a shapefile of the network map, including all the links/pipes, nodes/junctions, and other features. This can then be imported into WMS or any other application that works with distribution networks.

The final option, EPANET Input File, creates an EPANET input file that can be used in any application that can import it. This plain text file contains all the pipe networks information, including pipes, nodes (junctions), pumps, valves, storage tanks, and reservoirs. It also contains additional project and preference information used by the EPANET desktop application.

An additional option allows you to save the current view when in the Map view:

  1. Adjust the map view to how you want it
  2. Right-click anywhere on the map and select Save image as…

This will automatically save the current map view as “download.png” in your downloads location on your computer.

Try out these export features today by logging in at https://portal.aquaveo.com/. If you don’t have an account, use "trycitywater" as the username and password to see an example project.

You can also learn more about using CityWater by watching our tutorial videos.

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Exporting SRH-2D Results

After completing an SHR-2D model in SMS, are you needing to export the results so that they can be examined by someone not using SMS? SMS provides a few different ways that SHR-2D results can be exported.

ASCII and Binary

The simplest method of exporting SRH-2D results is to export them as either a generic ASCII file or binary file. This is done by doing the following:

  1. In the Project Explorer, right-click on the SRH-2D solution dataset and select Export.
  2. In the Export dialog, select to export the dataset as either a generic ASCII file or a generic binary file.
Shapefile

Shapefiles can be opened by a multitude of programs, making it a useful format to use when sharing your results. To export a dataset as a shapefile, do the following:

  1. In the Project Explorer, select the solution dataset and time step you want to export.
  2. Use the File | Save As command.
  3. In the Save As dialog, change the File Type to be "Shapefile (*.shp)".

The dataset can then be saved using the mesh contours to create either an arch shapefile or a polygon shapefile.

Raster

Raster files are also a file format that can be used by many different programs. To convert your SRH-2D solution sets into a raster file, do the following:

  1. Convert the mesh with the solution sets into a scatter set by using the Data | Mesh to Scatterpoint command.
  2. Select the desired dataset and time step under the converted scatter set.
  3. Right-click on the scatter set and select Convert | Scatter to Raster.
  4. Save out the raster file.
Text File

A delimited text file allows you more control over what is exported. To export your solution set as a text file:

  1. Select the File | Save As command.
  2. In the Save As dialog, change the File Type to be "Tabular Data Files (*.txt)".
  3. Use the Export Tabular Data dialog to specify how the file will be set up, which datasets to export, and which time steps to use.
Exporting SRH-2D datasets as a text file

These are just a few of the ways that SHR-2D solution files could be exported. After exporting the solution set, follow the user guidelines for importing the file into other software. Other file export options are also available, try them out in SMS today!

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Sharing GMS Project Files

As many of us work in a collaborative environment, sharing projects becomes essential. When sharing a GMS project, it is not as simple as sending over just the GMS project group file (*.gpr) project file. GMS projects are stored in multiple separate files that work together. When sharing a GMS project, it is important to include all of the necessary files.

GMS projects are saved as a project group file (*.gpr). This file saves feature objects, projection data, data objects and other general settings. However, it only references many other aspects of a project that are contained in separate files. It will reference the location of all external files such as shapefiles (*.shp, *.dbf, *.prj, etc.), images, CAD files, grid files, etc. When sharing a GPR file, the file needs to be able to locate these external files. Ideally, these files should be located in the same folder as the GPR file. This is why it is recommended to zip all the project files together before you send it out to be shared.

GMS project files

When your project contains a MODFLOW model, it is important to know that GMS saves the MODFLOW project in separate files. For example, each package saved as a different file. Rivers (*.riv), drains (*.drn), wells (*.wel), streams (*.str), recharge (.rch), etc. are all different packages with different file extensions. Sending over just the package file, such as only sending a wells file, is not much use as GMS will likely be unable to open it.

Along with the MODFLOW package files, GMS will need the MODFLOW name file (*.mfn). This file allows GMS to build the MODFLOW project when it is imported. All other input and output MODFLOW files should be included when sharing your GMS project.

Note that many files will be saved in a folder created next to the GPR file. Files in the folder should be left there and the entire folder should be moved with the GPR file. GMS saves the relative location of files included in the project.

When sharing your GMS project, keeping all of the necessary files together can save the person receiving the project a lot of frustration. For more about GMS file formats, be sure to check out the GMS articles on the XMSWiki and start sharing your GMS projects today!

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Exporting a High-Resolution Plot

While working in WMS, you may need to export a profile plot or hydrograph at a high resolution. This can be particularly useful when preparing a presentation or sending the results of your project for publication. Having a high resolution plot allows presenting your work at its best. This blog post is meant to show you how to export a high-resolution profile plot in WMS.

The needed resolution of the plot or hydrograph will vary depending on the final output. Resolution for screens and powerpoint presentations does not need to be as high as for print publications. By default, WMS uses a lower resolution for hydrographs and plots to conserve computer processing power. When exporting, higher resolutions can be specified.

In order to export a high resolution plot, a profile plot or hydrograph needs to be created. After generating the profile plot or hydrograph, the below steps will show how to export it with a high resolution.

  1. Right-click on the plot window and select Export/Print.
  2. In the Exporting Profile dialog, select which file type to export and where to save the file.
  3. At the bottom of the dialog, there is an option to set the size and resolution of the file to make it a higher quality image.
Exporting a plot

Remember that, in changing the size of an image, there are limits to how large the image can be. Each image should be scaled to accurately fit within its limited dimensions.

It is recommended to check the export plot file after exporting. It is recommended to open the exported plot file in software outside of WMS to check the resolution. Also review the final file size before sending it. If there is a discrepancy, adjust the export settings in WMS and try again.

Try out exporting your plots and hydrographs from WMS today!

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Converting Mesh Data to a Raster

After creating a mesh in SMS, you may want to share the data in the mesh as a raster file. For example, you might want to convert the water elevation or velocity dataset from a model run into a raster. Raster files can be opened by many programs and can contain a lot of useful information.

While a raster cannot be created directly from the Mesh module, it can be created from other modules, so the mesh data will need to be converted. To do this:

  1. In the Project Explorer, select the mesh you want to convert to a raster.
  2. Right-click and select Convert | Mesh to 2D Scatter.
  3. In the Convert Mesh to Scatter Points dialog, use the Convert only corner nodes option and give the scatter set a name.

After the mesh has been converted to a scatter set, a couple more things have to be done. The datasets, except for the elevation set, will need to then be interpolated over to the scatter set.

  1. In the Project Explorer, right-click on the mesh and select Interpolate to command.
  2. In the Interpolation Options dialog, select the datasets to interpolate over to the scatter set generated from the Mesh.

Once the mesh and datasets have been converted to the Scatter module, they can be converted to a raster by doing the following:

  1. Select the dataset and time step to be converted.
  2. In the Project Explorer, right-click and select Convert | Scatter to Raster.
  3. Select raster options in the Interpolate Scatter to Raster dialog.
  4. Give the raster a file name and save it as a GeoTIFF.

When going through this process, the active dataset and the active time step at the time of the conversion will be the information saved to the GeoTIFF file.

Mesh data to raster

Feel free to try out the above process of converting a mesh dataset to a raster file in SMS today!

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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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