Blog post

Seeing the big picture with Modelspaces

Apr 16, 2021

By Helena Åström, helena@scalgo.com

Hydrodynamic flood models take weeks - or even months – to set up and run.

They compute a bounty of useful information about how water flows across terrain, but, often only the end result – the data that shows where the water causes flood problems – is used.

At SCALGO we are pulling all that ‘overlooked’ data together in a new kind of flood mapping tool. SCALGO Live Modelspaces helps planners, engineers and utility companies see not only where flood water accumulates, but also how it gets there in the first place – to truly understand the big picture and to create appropriate mitigation measures.

Screenshot from Modelspaces in Aarhus showing the water depth, flux and velocity for a given time step of a 100-year event in year 2100.

Modelspaces grew out of a very practical challenge in Aarhus, Denmark, and it is already proving its value in larger planning efforts and even specific development projects.

It all started when the local water utility AarhusVand and consulting engineers from EnviDan set out to create a high resolution, hydrodynamic flood model for the entire 470 sq. km municipality. Running this model and saving all information about water depth, velocity and flux at each time step would result in storing more than 80 billion data elements. That’s a huge data set to visualize and interact with, but potentially also a source for important insights into how surface water can cause problems in the municipality.

That’s when AarhusVand and EnviDan contacted us to build a tool that can store and visualize all this data and make it easily accessible for users in both the water utility and the municipality.

Modelspaces is now being used to support the collaborative planning of climate change adaptation between the municipality and the water utility. Together they have identified blue-green corridors through the city that can guide future city development to make room for water along the paths where it will naturally flow, and to create new recreative spaces for citizens.

AarhusVand also uses Modelspaces when evaluating urban renewal and development projects.

At Viby Square, one of the city’s busiest intersections and an area that is prone to flooding during cloudbursts, Modelspaces has helped the water utility make developers aware of the need for flood mitigation and used it to suggest possible mitigation measures.

“We’ve used Modelspaces to show the developer how water flows across the square step-by-step and how mitigation measures can potentially be created at the outer perimeter of the square. We could do this early in their project planning – which is essential. It is a fully developed urban environment where we simply can’t begin moving streets and terrain. So, we have to address the flood problems locally within the development area.” says Senior Engineer Lene Bassø Duus of Aarhus Vand.

Modelspaces in SCALGO Live helps you see the big picture when it comes to flood mitigation. It is the latest way we are working to bring complex data visualizations to life – which is exactly what we love doing. Below you can see a screen recording of a user interacting with Modelspaces.

Want to try Modelspaces on your own data? Get in touch with us to get started or read more at the Modelspaces website.