Workspaces – Importing terrain edits

SCALGO Live supports importing various types of vector data directly as terrain edits that can be edited alongside regular terrain edits in a workspace.

Importing vector data

If you have a vector file (we support the Shapefile, GeoPackage, GeoJSON, MapInfo TAB, and DXF formats) with simple line and point geometries representing e.g. roads and building outlines it is possible to convert those to SCALGO Live edit features. The basic workflow is as follows:

  1. Open the terrain edits menu in your workspace
  2. Select the tool you want to use. E.g. to raise imported polylines by 1 m select the raise tool and set the raise amount to 1 m.
  3. Find the source data in your file system.
  4. Select all the files making up your source data. If you source data is a Shapefile, be sure to select the .shp,.shx,.dbf and .prj file at the same time. If your source data is in MapInfo format, be sure to select the .tab, .dat, .id, and .map files at the same time.
  5. Drag the selected file onto the terrain edits dialog, you should see some helpful text advising you where to drop the data.
  6. SCALGO Live will now apply the selected tool on the geometry from the imported file.

If your vector data is in DXF format, you must ensure that coordinates are stored in meters or millimeters, and are in a known spatial reference. Since the DXF format does not store the spatial reference, SCALGO Live will ask you for the correct spatial reference during the import.  If you have problems importing your particular DXF files, note that we only support the following object types:

  • for polygonal features, HATCH, SOLID, TRACE, and 3DFACE;
  • for line features, POLYLINE (only modes AcDb2dPolyline, AcDb3dPolyline, and AcDbPolyFaceMesh), LINELWPOLYLINESPLINE, ARC, CIRCLE, and ELLIPSE;
  • for point features, POINT.

Example of a user importing building footprints as editable terrain features in a workspace. The raise tool has been selected and the buildings are raised by 10m above the workspace elevation model.

If you do not want to use the workspace elevation model as a basis for the elevation values of the imported features but would rather use z-coordinates or field values, you can activate the select tool and drag the files onto it instead. You will then be given a choice of field to use for z-coordinates and width when relevant.

Importing contours

You can drag a shape file with polygons, line strings, and points into any of the first four contour tools (there is no difference in how the import will be handled).

Polygons in the shape file become closed contours, points become point contours, and line strings become open contours. To import dividing contours, the first and last point of the line string must exactly coincide with a point of the outermost polygon, which is then treated as the boundary.

During the import you will be asked how to set the elevation of each contour - it can be taken from any field of the import feature, from the 3D-information of the import feature (if present), or can be set manually.

Copying edits to a new workspace

To copy edits from one workspace to another, follow these steps (see video below):

  1. Click Export -> Download Data and draw an area around the edits you want to copy.
  2. Click the download icon for the Edits layer under Elevation, and select GeoJSON or GeoPackage as file format.
  3. Store the file locally.
  4. In your new workspace, make sure the select (arrow) tool is activated, then drag and drop the downloaded file onto the dialog.
  5. Repeat the process for land cover edits if necessary, enabling the select tool in the Land Cover tab before importing the land cover edits.

Importing river and stream geometry

SCALGO Live supports importing cross-sectional geometry for rivers and streams. Currently we support the use of data from Orbicon's VASP stream management software. To use such data follow these steps:

  1. Export your string geometry in VASP32 ASCII format as a .txt file. Follow Orbicon's guide (in Danish).
  2. Optionally (but recommended), export your stream centerline as a Shapefile.
  3. Select the Shapefile (all the files making up the Shapefile) as well as the VASP32 ASCII .txt file, drag them all into the terrain edit menu for your SCALGO Live workspace with the Select tool active.

The import will produce regular workspace terrain edits where the cross sections have been enriched with cross section information from the VASP file.

Note that only the part of cross sections between the VASP edge markers are imported, outside the edge markers the elevation model is assumed to be better than the cross sections.

Importing a VASP File (VASPFile.txt) along with a centerline Shapefile (Centerline.shp,.shx,.prj,.dbf) into a workspace.

You can use the usual SCALGO Live terrain edit tools to edit the imported cross sections. If you want to run a flooding computation on your workspace please consult the stream section of this manual.


VASP files can have inconsistent data, or types of geometry not supported by SCALGO Live. During the import process such artifacts will be communicated to you through SCALGO Live so you can investigate the output and decide how to handle those cases. Be aware that Manning numbers and flow values are not included in the VASP32 ASCII export and therefore not imported into SCALGO Live. If you are doing a stream computation these numbers are important and you can read more about them in the stream section.