HEC-RAS geometry export

DustyRobinsonDustyRobinson Global Mapper UserPosts: 114Trusted User
edited November 2014 in Suggestion Box
HEC-RAS (Hydrologic Engineering Centers River Analysis System) put out by the US Army Corps is a freely available software package used for hydraulic modeling of rivers. It is the primary software package used all over the nation for floodplain mapping related to FEMA and NFIP. It is also used for a lot of other work involving rivers such as designing bridges, culverts, river restoration projects, canals, ...

It does it's job, but it is severely lacking in working with geographic data. So, to get a model setup most people use other software such as AutoCAD, MicroStation, or AcrView (HEC-GeoRAS).

My suggestion is to incorporate something similar to HEC-GeoRAS into GlobalMapper. If done well there is potential for a lot of users.

All that is really needed are the following;
  1. Ability to work with various terrain datasets
  2. Ability to draw lines
  3. Ability to extract terrain data and distances from these lines
  4. ability to export to a specific file format for HEC-RAS

GlobalMapper is already setup to do all of those. The only step remaining is creating the file ready to be imported into HEC-RAS. Since HEC-RAS is public software I think you can obtain the needed information for this file.

While this would be a great starting point, GlobalMapper has the potential to post process data that HEC-RAS creates. Such as creating flood inundation maps, depth plots, scour plots,.... But I will save that for later.

Comments

  • global_mapperglobal_mapper Administrator Posts: 17,238
    edited December 2011
    Thank you for the information. I agree that sounds like a useful addition and hopefully the required formats aren't too crazy. I've added this to our todo list.

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Global Mapper Guru
    gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
    http://www.globalmapper.com
  • DustyRobinsonDustyRobinson Global Mapper User Posts: 114Trusted User
    edited December 2011
    Here is the link to the manual. Appendix B has the information that you would need I think.
    http://goo.gl/dPcFp
  • DustyRobinsonDustyRobinson Global Mapper User Posts: 114Trusted User
    edited December 2011
    If anyone is interested in a learning a little bit more about floodplain mapping and modeling. These two resources are a good place to start;

    Elevation Data for Floodplain Mapping

    Mapping the Zone
  • global_mapperglobal_mapper Administrator Posts: 17,238
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for the link, looks like the formats are simple enough, it's really just a matter of figuring out how to define what is what in Global Mapper to get the proper output format. For example what different reaches are, cross sections, etc. I'm not sure how important getting all that properly defined is for HEC-RAS or what a normal input looks like, but there's quite a bit of that in the samples in the User's Manual.

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Global Mapper Guru
    gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
    http://www.globalmapper.com
  • DustyRobinsonDustyRobinson Global Mapper User Posts: 114Trusted User
    edited December 2011
    We currently use MicroStation and/or HEC-GeoRAS (within ArcView). They both handle defining the various features differently. If all of the lines are drawn in GM they could each just get an attribute such as profile, cross section, etc. Then on output, GM could just look at the attribute field to determine what each line is and what information it needs. You could also create/import each piece so they are all in different files and then have the user pick which file is which feature.

    There are probably several ways to do it. I don't know much about programming to know which one is better.
  • global_mapperglobal_mapper Administrator Posts: 17,238
    edited December 2011
    Ok thank you for the information. We will look closer at how best to define this when we actually get to implementing it.

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Global Mapper Guru
    gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
    http://www.globalmapper.com
  • DustyRobinsonDustyRobinson Global Mapper User Posts: 114Trusted User
    edited December 2011
    Let me know if you have any questions or need anything tested. The company I work for uses HEC-RAS a lot, and we also teach courses around the nation to Departments of Transportation and other government agencies.
  • LocLoc Global Mapper User Posts: 21Trusted User
    edited April 2013
    Hi Mike, I am just curious about the status of the work to implement this HEC-RAS export feature. Thanks.
  • global_mapperglobal_mapper Administrator Posts: 17,238
    edited April 2013
    Unfortunately nothing yet. It's quite a todo list we have, so better HEC-RAS integration might end up being part of a feature extension library that either we or some 3rd party writes. The next GM release should support 3rd-party feature extensions so things like this will be possible.

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Global Mapper Guru
    gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
    Blue Marble Geographics for Coordinate Conversion, Image Reprojection and Vector Translation
  • RobertRRobertR GlobalMapper Fan! Posts: 285Trusted User
    edited April 2013

    My suggestion is to incorporate something similar to HEC-GeoRAS into GlobalMapper. If done well there is potential for a lot of users.

    This would be stunning. I remember I worked my ass off to try and find a good combination of GIS DEsktop + HEC GRas to start my PhD project.

    This would surely be an excellent addition. Great suggestion @DustyRobinson
  • TyLloydTyLloyd Global Mapper User Posts: 2
    edited July 2014
    I would like to reinforce the value of the toolset described by the previous posters. The Army Corps of Engineers developed various softwares including HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS which are free to download and widely used in the technical community by hydrologists and hydraulic engineers. The software packages are fairly simple and are accompanied by spatial data editors (HEC-GeoHMS and HEC-GeoRAS); however, the *Geo* applications are only really available as build-ins to ARC which, aside from being cumbersome and crashy, is also outrageously expensive.

    I believe, and I expect that many would support this sentiment, that the inclusion of *Geo* editors for HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS in the Global Mapper software would actually improve your bottom line. As the *Geo* editors are already coded and available for free I'm fairly confident it would not be a significant challenge for your coders to retrofit them into Global Mapper.

    Please let me know if you'd like more info regarding this statement. Again, I would like to strongly reinforce the value of adding this toolset to your [already amazing] product.
    Abdoosh
  • Ice Age MarkIce Age Mark Global Mapper User Posts: 294Trusted User
    edited July 2014
    Once again I would like to put in my two bits in support of this. To create and set up most of the terrain model in GM, and then transfer it to HEC-RAS would be great!
  • RobertRRobertR GlobalMapper Fan! Posts: 285Trusted User
    edited July 2014
    Hello all,

    I too am in favor of adding this. I keep watching this thread as I find it both a really good idea, and a strong challenge for the ones developing GM.

    Currently I am not working with these tools because the nature of my work is focused on something else for the moment, but I remember that back in the days when I wanted to start my PhD based on a hydrology issue, I virtually had to drop the idea because of the huge prices that one had to pay for such products.

    All in all I consider this a top addition, alongside the former GM's Scripting capabilities and the future plans concerning charts. You will open the door for a new sector and the people involved in it.
  • Jasmine_BMGJasmine_BMG BMG Staff Posts: 174
    edited July 2014
    Hi Guys,

    Thank you for your enthusiastic feedback and requests, I have linked this thread in the enhancement request. I will also ask if our Sales and Development Staff can discuss the request for compatibility with HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS applications in an upcoming planning meeting, as far as real development requirements and the potential utility for those professionals working in hydrology and hydraulic engineering fields is concerned.

    If you would like me to add any additional information to the enhancement request; use-case scenarios, your own information and professional credentials, and/or supporting or pertinent literature or projects you may send these to geohelp@bluemarblegeo.com.

    Please put 'Attn Jasmine - Hydro # 9104' in the subject field, so that I know what it is pertaining to.

    Regards,

    Jasmine
    Abdoosh
  • DustyRobinsonDustyRobinson Global Mapper User Posts: 114Trusted User
    edited November 2014
    Hi,

    Just checking into see if there has been any decisions made regarding incorporating HEC-RAS specific tools in GM?

    FYI - Software now exists with the sole function of creating and editing HEC-RAS models (HEC-RAS software that automates cross sections creation and floodplain mapping)

    There is a huge market for software of this kind. I think GM has the potential to offer an attractive option for a lot of people using HEC-RAs.
  • DustyRobinsonDustyRobinson Global Mapper User Posts: 114Trusted User
    Hi,

    While my original request may still be a beneficial feature to some we have found other software to aid in the creation, editing, and processing of HEC-RAS models. The software is not cheap, but it is well worth the cost for what it does. GeoHECRAS by CivilGeo is the software if anyone is interested; http://www.civilgeo.com/geo-hec-ras/



  • RobertRRobertR GlobalMapper Fan! Posts: 285Trusted User
    I still think there is a great value in this addition for Global Mapper.
  • TeeGeeTeeGee Global Mapper User Posts: 61Trusted User
    Hi,
    I strongly support the idea of a feature that would allow to export directly geographic data to HEC-RAS. Global Mapper does already the greatest part of the job (defining the geometry of the reaches and cross sections), but the transfer of these datas to HEC-RAS by CSV files is really tedious...
  • Hi,

    Has there been any progress on this feature? It would be incredibly useful in our office as we have a lot of Global Mapper and HEC-RAS users.

    Would be great to hear if there was progress.
    RobertR
  • RobertRRobertR GlobalMapper Fan! Posts: 285Trusted User
    edited October 2018
    I will forever hope this suggestion is going to be implemented at some point as well as a GM version for Mac :pensive: .
  • bmg_mikebmg_mike Global Mapper Guru Posts: 184Trusted User
    Hello All,

    We are finally getting around to adding some HEC-RAS integration in to Global Mapper and were hoping for some customer input.

    We have noticed that the cross-sections for streams don't seem to have a consistent spacing or geometry. Are the cross-sections typically drawn by hand, or is there some automated way that cross sections could be placed along the stream path?

    Once you have a cross section and the Z values along the cross section are pulled from the underlying DEM data, are those Z values typically edited within the stream where the DEM has a flat surface to get bathymetric heights? Or is there some source of terrain with the bathymetry for streams along with terrain surface heights?

    Finally, are the bank locations for each cross section typically specified manually, or is there some automatic way to calculate those based on the stream geometry.

    It would be helpful is discussion for this could be sent to geohelp@bluemarblegeo.com as well as posted here.

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Global Mapper Guru
    geohelp@bluemarblegeo.com
    http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/
    Abdoosh
  • TyLloydTyLloyd Global Mapper User Posts: 2
    bmg_mike said:
    Hello All,

    We are finally getting around to adding some HEC-RAS integration in to Global Mapper and were hoping for some customer input.

    We have noticed that the cross-sections for streams don't seem to have a consistent spacing or geometry. Are the cross-sections typically drawn by hand, or is there some automated way that cross sections could be placed along the stream path?

    Once you have a cross section and the Z values along the cross section are pulled from the underlying DEM data, are those Z values typically edited within the stream where the DEM has a flat surface to get bathymetric heights? Or is there some source of terrain with the bathymetry for streams along with terrain surface heights?

    Finally, are the bank locations for each cross section typically specified manually, or is there some automatic way to calculate those based on the stream geometry.

    It would be helpful is discussion for this could be sent to geohelp@bluemarblegeo.com as well as posted here.

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Global Mapper Guru
    geohelp@bluemarblegeo.com
    http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/
    Hey Mike,

    Good to hear this ended up on your radar.  You should know that a recent release of HEC-RAS (v5+) built-in a spatial editor and most of the functionality I think all of us have been looking for.  Let me know if you have any questions though.

    Cheers,
    Ty
  • KatrinaKatrina Posts: 25
    Global Mapper 20.1 provides the following new format support:
    • Added support to read and write HEC-RAS Data Exchange file format files (.SDF), defining a river network, and its associated cross sections.
    • Added support to read HEC-RAS .hdf files containing terrains (referenced GeoTif files), cross section lines, bank lines, river center lines, structure lines (dams, levees, etc), and 2D flow areas. 
    We are currently researching additional functionality for future development. If you would like to provide input as to desirable workflows or functionality for additional HEC-RAS and GIS integration, you can reach me at geohelp@bluemarblegeo.com 
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