Nov 14, 2022 France

SCALGO launches its interactive surface water planning tool in France

  • New releases

SCALGO Live, the innovative planning tool already being used by more than 16,000 professionals across Europe, now offers instantaneous and intuitive analyses and tools for surface water management in France.

Téléchargez une introduction à SCALGO Live en français ici ->

Voulez-vous en savoir plus? Contactez Sara Lerer, responsable de l'hydrologie, à

From open elevation data to valuable surface water analyses

In 2021, the French government decided to launched an impressive initiative to start collecting high-density nationwide LIDAR data. The data will be continuously collected and processed until the end of 2025, coordinated by The National Institute for Geographic and Forest Information (IGN).

Simultaneously with announcing the new program, the government also released the present nationwide elevation data, called the RGE ALTI (R) dataset, as open data. This model is based on LIDAR data in approximately one third of the country, describing terrain in 1 meter resolution. In the remaining areas, elevation data is based on photogrammetry (with varying levels of detail).

At SCALGO, we saw this initiative as an incredible opportunity to bring the SCALGO Live digital experience to everyone working with terrain and surface water in France.

"We immediately harvested the national data and set a course for introducing surface water planning à la SCALGO Live to French engineers and planners", says Sara Lerer, Head of Hydrology and responsible for the French model setup. "And I'm pleased to say that the result is convincing".

SCALGO Live for France is perfected using vector data from BD TOPO (R). This has helped identify locations where water is expected to flow under bridges or in culverts, and ensures that flow paths in SCALGO Live are described with high accuracy.

"The model will, of course, continuously be updated with new elevation data as the national LIDAR programme continues to scan the surface of France", explains Sara Lerer. "This initiative really is one more great example of how governments can use open data to foster the development of innovative solutions that enable new efficient ways of working with spatial planning. At SCALGO, we are convinced that our surface water analyses and interactive tools can strengthen the way planners address a variety of challenges in France, just like we have seen happen in other countries."

Access nationwide detailed data and analyses. Use interactive tools to describe surface water conditions.

The SCALGO Live way

In SCALGO Live, users can quickly identify flood prone areas and begin experimenting with solutions – from catchment scale all the way down to designing small local measures. Because calculations are immediate and take place entirely in SCALGO Live, and because of effective visualisations, multiple design ideas can be discussed among stakeholders from the earliest project phases.

The fast analyses and tools are made possible thanks to advanced algorithm technology for geographic data processing which form the basis for the platform.

Watch the video below for an introduction to SCALGO Live in France.

For everyone working with terrain and surface water

The flooding in Paris this summer demonstrates that pluvial flooding is an issue that deserves attention also in France. SCALGO Live is the perfect hammer for nailing such issues, empowering planners to proactively address stormwater challenges without having to deal with the complexity of modelling”, explains Sara Lerer .

And there's more. SCALGO Live is also extensively used for exploring other surface water challenges and experimenting with various solutions.

Nature restoration, infrastructure planning and blue-green urban development are all areas where SCALGO Live is being applied”, Sara Lerer continues. “Many consultants tell me that SCALGO Live is their first stop when starting a new project, almost no matter what the project is about. They form an overview of terrain and flow conditions within minutes, giving them a head start that would take hours using other tools”.

Sara Lerer,
Head of Hydrology