GeoHECRAS Update: HEC-RAS Made Easy

GeoHECRAS Update - Hambone Save Time

Jan 19, 2015 Release

This week a new update for GeoHECRAS comes out with a full spectrum of new features to speed up HEC-RAS model creation and review. With this new update, the benefits of using a variety of mapping and spatial information in various formats are accessible with HEC-RAS model. The software extends and enhances the capabilities of the US Army Corps of Engineers HEC-RAS software to carry out complex and time-consuming application with ease, without compromising accuracy.

Several major new features have been added from requests from our clients. The ability to work with even more types of data is evident in this new update. In addition, the user interface has been improved with better graphics and speed.

Let’s see what’s in this latest update…

What’s New

Digital Terrain Cross Section Cutting

Extract HEC-RAS cross sections from 3D digital elevation terrain data. Utilize AutoCAD Civil 3D surfaces, contours, TINs, DTMs, DEMs, survey points and other external digital elevation terrain data.

LandXML TIN Surfaces as Terrain Elevation Data

The software can use AutoCAD Civil 3D, Bentley MicroStation, and other TIN surfaces to determine cross section geometry when cutting cross sections. TIN surfaces are imported as LandXML files.

Support for Survey Point Data

Survey point supported formats are:

  • EN (Easting, Northing)
  • ENZ (Easting, Northing, Elevation)
  • NE (Northing, Easting)
  • NEZ (Northing, Easting, Elevation)
  • PEN (Point, Easting, Northing)
  • PENZ (Point, Easting, Northing, Elevation)
  • PEND (Point, Easting, Northing, Description)
  • PENZD (Point, Easting, Northing, Elevation, Description)
  • PNE (Point, Northing, Easting)
  • PNEZ (Point, Northing, Easting, Elevation)
  • PNED (Point, Northing, Easting, Description)
  • PNEZD (Point, Northing, Easting, Elevation, Description)

The software can use survey point data as map data layer. Use this data to generate digital elevation terrain surface and extract HEC-RAS cross sections.

Import River Reach Alignment

The Input | Cross Sections | Import River Reach Alignment command allows the software to import surveyed multiple river reach alignment from a wide variety of file formats. The software will automatically determine where the next river reach starts within the selected file based upon either gaps within the file or a sudden change in direction from one geometry point to the next.

Import Cross Section Geometry

The Input | Cross Sections | Import Cross Section Geometry command allows the software to import multiple surveyed cross section geometry from a wide variety of file formats. The software will automatically determine where the next cross section starts within the selected file based upon either gaps within the file or a sudden change in direction from one geometry point to the next.

Extract High Chord Geometry

The Input | Roadway Crossings | Extract High Chord Geometry command allows the software to utilize AutoCAD Civil 3D surfaces, contours, TINs, DTMs, DEMs, survey points and other external digital elevation terrain data for generating a roadway crossing’s high chord geometry.

Extract Weir Crest Geometry

The Input | Inline Structures | Extract Weir Crest Geometry command allows the software to utilize AutoCAD Civil 3D surfaces, contours, TINs, DTMs, DEMs, survey points and other external digital elevation terrain data for generating weir crest geometry for inline structures. Similarly, this command is available for lateral structures using the Input | Lateral Structures | Extract Weir Crest Geometry command.

Floodplain and Floodway Mapping

Generate floodplain and floodway mapping from HEC RAS results and 3D digital elevation terrain data. Export results directly to AutoCAD (including AutoCAD Civil 3D and Map 3D), Google Earth, ESRI ArcGIS, as well as publish to PDF.

Copying and Pasting Model Elements

The software allows you to copy and paste model elements within a project and even between projects when two or more models are opened. The software will automatically align the copied cross section thalweg with the river reach and orient the cross section perpendicular to the river reach. In addition, the software will update the copied cross section river station ID and adjust the flow lengths for the copied cross section and the next upstream cross section.

Custom Coordinate Reference Systems

GeoHECRAS provides support for custom projected coordinate reference systems. Select File | Map Coordinates from the ribbon menu to view the Map Coordinates backstage page. From the Map Coordinates backstage page, select the Import CRS Projection tab.

Support for ArcInfo File and Personal Geodatabases

GeoHECRAS provides support for GIS ArcInfo GDB File Geodatabases and ArcInfo MDB Personal Geodatabases to be added to map data layers.

Project Auto Recovery

The software automatically saves project while the user is working with the software. Should the software crash, it provides the option to recover the project with no or minimal loss of work.

Color Relief for Elevation Grids

The software can compute a color ramp and generate a corresponding color relief from Elevation Grid Properties dialog box. The generated color relief is saved along with the elevation grid so that will be available with the project file the next time the project is loaded.

Color Relief for Elevation Grids

Opening a GeoHECRAS project file or adding an external GIS data (Shapefiles, AutoCAD files, Elevation Grids, File Geodatabases, etc.) can be done by dragging and dropping the files from Windows Explorer onto the Map View or Map Data Layers panel. Dropping the files on to the Map Data Layers panel provides additional control on the display order of the selected file.

What’s Updated

Cross Section Region Extraction Control

The Input | Cross Sections | Extract Cross Section Geometry command can be used with various options to extract the cross section geometry for:

  • Entire Cross Section
  • Channel Only
  • Overbanks Only
  • Left Overbank Only
  • Right Overbank Only

This is helpful when using field surveyed channel cross sections and then automatically extending the cross sections in the cross section overbank using digital terrain data.

Terrain Options in Element Draw and Assign Commands

All element draw and assign commands provide options to extract geometry.

Extrude building shapes using GIS polygon shapefile

The GIS polygon shapefile properties dialog box allows the user to extrude the shapefile polygons as building shapes based on the selected elevation or height attribute.

Pick Stations and Elevations from Map View

All data dialog boxes (Cross Sections, Bridges & Culverts, Inline Structures, Lateral Structures, Storage Areas, and Storage Area Connections) allow the user to select stations and elevations from the Map View as well as the graphic plot.

Select Terrain Limits

The GIS Edit | Generate Terrain command allows the user to define the terrain limits with the following options:

  • Elevation Source Extents – Uses the entire extent of the loaded elevation data
  • User-Defined Limits – Allows the user to select the terrain limits by dragging a rectangle on Map View
  • HEC-RAS Model Extents – Uses the extent of the HEC-RAS model

Terrain Grid Resolution

The GIS Edit | Generate Terrain command allows the user to specify grid cell size. Based on the cell size, grid resolution details are automatically computed and displayed.

Assign Channel Banks Command

The Input | Assign Entities | Assign Channel Banks command allows different options for the assignment of channel bank station locations:

  • Polyline Assignment – Assignment of a polyline for placement of channel bank stations
  • Depth Assignment – Based upon user specified channel depth, assign the channel bank stations
  • Result Assignment – Automatically assign the next ground station above the water surface for the selected water surface profile as the channel bank station

What’s Fixed

Optimized CAD Layer Properties

Optimized the loading of CAD files and applying sub-layer color changes on Map View.

Memory Optimization

Fixed numerous memory leaks and optimized memory usage.

Automated River Station ID Generation

Software now automatically computes and suggests river station IDs for the newly created cross sections, roadway crossings, and inline structures. This helps while using draw and assign element commands.

Join the conversation about GeoHECRAS. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ using #GeoHECRAS, #ReadyToEngineer.

About the Author Chris Maeder

Chris Maeder

Chris is an experienced civil engineering and software technology leader, with over 30 years industry experience. With proven expertise in global software development, he has built engineering teams that adapt quickly, focus on what’s important and, most importantly, deliver. He is a licensed professional civil engineer with extensive experience in water resource engineering. He has performed and supervised engineering projects in urban stormwater drainage, transportation and roadway drainage, storm sewer design, detention pond design, stormwater quality, green infrastructure, watershed management planning, wastewater sewers, water distribution networks, pump stations, FEMA flood studies, bridge and culvert design, bridge scour and armoring, dam failure analysis, seepage and groundwater modeling, and environmental permits.