Modelspaces – Introduction and use

SCALGO Live supports importing, visualizing, and sharing results from hydrodynamic model simulations, including time-series data, through hydrodynamic modelspaces.

Creating modelspaces

To create a modelspace you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Library.
  2. Click the Modelspaces tab, and click Create new modelspace.
  3. Select a file to open.
  4. Check the spatial reference if necessary.
  5. Choose the layers, and their types, from the file you want imported into SCALGO Live.
  6. Click import.

When importing large files, remember to use a computer with a fast and stable internet connection, if the process is interrupted it has to be restarted. Once the modelspace is created, you can of course use any computer you would normally use for SCALGO Live to interact with the results.

Selecting layer types

In step 5 of the workspace creation process you tell the system how to map the data in the file to the types of data supported in a SCALGO Live Modelspace. Currently the 5 basic types supported are:

  • Elevation data
  • Absolute or directional flux
  • Absolute or directional velocity
  • Water depth (relative)
  • Water level (absolute)

The system will try to detect what type the data in your file corresponds to, but this is not always possible and you can therefore tweak it. Here is an example of this process inside SCALGO Live:

In our test file the system should use the Bathymetry layer for the elevation data, the Surface elevation layer for water depth (and this layer stores absolute, not relative, water depth), we have no velocity data and P-flux and Q-flux should be combined into the Flux layer.

On the left side we show the different types supported by SCALGO Live and on the right side the layers from the file that will be used for each type is shown. If you want a different layer to be used, or do not want to import a given type at all, you can use the drop-down box to change the selection.

Adding and removing data

If the output of your simulation is stored in multiple files covering the same area, use one to create the modelspace, and then click Add or replace layers... in the modelspace dialog to import each of the remaining files.

To remove superfluous layers, simply click the trash can showing next to the layer name while hovering your mouse.

Deleting a layer

Layer removal is permanent, if you change your mind you will have to re-upload the data to the workspace.


Results from simulations of different events on the same model can be grouped into one modelspace by selecting New event when uploading the result, and then using Add or replace layers... to upload the remaining results.

Results associated to events are then found under the Events header in the dock.

Note that the elevation layer is shared between events.

Hydrodynamic data types and visualization

Flux & Velocity

For flux and velocity we support vector fields, typically represented by an x- and y-component or absolute value and angle. If two components are present in the input data, they will be combined into a single layer, with the option of showing the data using a gradient where the colour depends on the absolute value (Euclidean norm) of the two components, or using arrows showing the direction. The size of the arrows again depends on the absolute value of the vector. If the data is represented as one component, this is assumed to be the absolute flux or velocity, and only the gradient visualization is available.

Combined visualization of flux as a gradient and velocity as arrows.

When using arrow visualization (default for data with two components), the slider is used to control the maximum flux or velocity. Arrows representing values larger than this maximum are drawn in red.

When using gradient visualization, the slider is used to control the minimum flux or velocity shown.

Point queries on layers with direction return both the absolute flux or velocity and the compass direction (azimuth) with respect to grid north in the visualization projection.

Water depth & Water level

Water depth data is displayed similarly to the water-depth visualization for the flash-flood map and sea-level rise, with a default blue gradient and the option of "banded" visualization. Water depth layers are also rendered in the profile window, and update with the time slider (see below).

Depth profile

During import, water level data is converted to water depth by subtracting heights from the supplied elevation model.

Time-series data

If the input data represents a time-series of steps in a simulation run, both the individual time steps as well as the maximum value over all time steps can be visualized. A time-slider is presented to browse through the steps of the simulation. The time shown is relative to the start of the simulation.

Sharing modelspaces

Modelspaces can be shared with other users of SCALGO Live in the same way as workspaces.

Supported file types

SCALGO Live supports both raster- and mesh-based file formats for importing hydrodynamic simulation results. Mesh-based data is rasterized on import, and you'll be asked to select a rasterization resolution. The default selected value roughly corresponds to the cell size of the mesh.

DFS2 (raster)

The items in a DFS2 file should have the following types:

  • Elevation data: Bathymetry
  • Flux, one or two components: Flow Flux (when using two components, the items should be called P flux and Q flux)
  • Velocity: u-velocity component and v-velocity component
  • Water depth: Water Depth
  • Water level: Water Level

Alternatively, flow directions can be supplied through a current direction or flow direction item. These are automatically combined with absolute flux and velocity items.

If a so-called "land value" is defined in the DFS2 file, elevations at or above this value can be ignored by enabling the "Ignore values ≥ ..." checkbox. This improves visualization and analysis results.

Instead of using the Create new modelspace button, DFS2 files can also be dragged directly onto the dock from your file manager. Depending on the type of data (elevation model only, or files containing other data types), you'll be prompted to create a new workspace or hydrodynamic modelspace based on the contents of the file.

DFSU (mesh)

See DFS2 above for the supported item types. The elevation model can be extracted from the mesh itself (choose "From Mesh").

HEC-RAS HDF (mesh)

Specifically, the .pXX.hdf files generated by HEC-RAS 5 & 6.

The following outputs are currently recognized:

  • Elevation: Cells Minimum Elevation (choose "From Mesh")
  • Velocity: Face Velocity
  • Water level: Water Surface
  • Water depth: Depth

Maximum water surface and velocity are also read from the file.

TUFLOW XMDF and Hydro_as-2D (mesh)

Select the .2dm model, .xmdf or .h5 result file(s) and, optionally, the corresponding .sup and .prj files.

The following outputs are currently recognized:

  • Elevation from the mesh model
  • Depth and Water Level
  • [Vector] Velocity
  • Vector Unit Flow

Maximum values are also read from the file(s).

Infoworks ICM Binary Export (mesh)

Export both the results and mesh. To export the results, follow these steps:

  1. From the Results menu select Export to Binary Files
  2. Add a simulation and selection list, see the Innovyze manual under the "Export to Binary Files" section
  3. Select an output folder
  4. Select the 2D zone tab and enable angle2d, depth2d, elevation2d, speed2d and unitflow2d.
  5. Click OK to generate the .dat file with results

Export the mesh as follows:

  1. From the Results menu select Export to SHP files... (see also the Innovyze manual)
  2. Select the same simulation as above and click OK
  3. Select the same output folder as above and click Select Folder
  4. Click the Tables button and only export the 2D Elements table
  5. Disable the Do not export 2d results with depths below... option
  6. Click OK
  7. In the Export Timestep Options dialog, select e.g. None (the results are instead read from the .dat file produced previously), enable the Export Maxima option (to make sure the file is not empty), and click OK

In SCALGO Live, select both the .dat results file as well as the 2D Zones.shp, .shx, .prj, and .dbf mesh files.

The following output fields are currently recognized:

  • Elevation from the GNDLEV2D field, or from the mesh model (in the latter case only simulation elements shaped as triangles or quadrilaterals are supported)
  • Water depth: depth2d
  • Velocity: speed2d
  • Flux: unitflow2d

Flow directions are read from the angle2d field.

Delft3D FM (mesh)

Select a file.  The following fields are currently recognized:

  • Elevation: flow element center bedlevel (bl)
  • Water level
  • Velocity: flow element center velocity [vector] (select the vector layer)

PCSWMM (mesh)

Results from PCSWMM 2D models can be imported by selecting a .tsb output file together with the corresponding .db file describing the mesh. The following field are supported:

  • Elevation per cell from the mesh
  • Water depth: Depth
  • Velocity: Velocity

Flow directions are read from the Direction field.

Single raster files

Single raster layers can be imported using the following file formats:

  • GeoTIFF (.tif)
  • Arc/Info ASCII Grid (.asc + .prj)
  • BIL/.hdr Labelled Raster (.bil + .hdr)
  • HFA/Erdas Imagine (.img)

Note that only one layer can be imported at a time, so it is not possible to import water level data, since it requires an elevation model to be uploaded at the same time. Vector fields should be represented as two-band rasters with an x- and y-component.

Additional analyses

If you select an elevation model for your modelspace, SCALGO Live will automatically compute additional analyses based on this model for your convenience. Currently we compute the depression map, which is available as a layer in the workspace, and we enable the watershed tool allowing you to dynamically query (depression-free) watersheds in your elevation model.

The elevation model in the imported modelspace is shown along with the associated depression map and an active watershed tool.

Note, elevation data in a mesh is rasterized upon import and the analyses are computed on this rasterized model.