Using the Environment Agency Real Time Data API in InfoWorks ICM, ICMLive and Infinity Systems

The English Environment Agency provide a flood-monitoring API (Application programming interface which allows software to access the data directly) which provides access to near real-time information including measurements of rainfall, water levels and flows.

Water levels and flows are regularly monitored, usually every 15 minutes. Data is then transferred back to the Environment Agency at various frequencies, depending on the site and level of flood risk. The APIs are provided as open data under the Open Government Licence with no requirement for registration.

InfoWorks ICM and ICMLive can connect to the Environment Agency flood monitoring API using a Time-Series DataBase (TSDB). Time Series Databases are described in the following blog post:-

http://blog.innovyze.com/2016/09/26/working-with-time-series-databases-tsdb/

The TSDBs can then be connected to via a web-browser using the Infinity Systems software described on the following page:-

(http://www.innovyze.com/products/infinity_system/)

In InfoWorks ICM version 8, a new data source type, EA RestAPI, was added which allows connection to the Environment Agency Real Time Data API for the river levels. To set up a connection, the first step is to configure a TSDB data source with a type, EA RestAPI and the server set to environment.data.gov.uk. The data source name can be set accordingly.

Figure 1: TSDB Data Source Configuration for EA RestAPI data

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    How to simulate a valve operation with InfoSurge

    This procedure below shows how to apply AV (TCV), how to activate it, and how to apply AV (TCV) Operation Change Data, Stem Change Curve.

    1- Select your Valve
    2- Choose 4: Throttle Control Valve for Valve Type
    3- Click Auxiliary Calculator   and select AV Characteristics Curve Generator
    4- Select Gate Valve from Options and Minor Loss from Pipe Data (Wide Open Data) and assign 1 for Minor Loss
    5- Click Compute

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      Switching map display in InfoWater

      InfoWater is a fully GIS integrated water distribution modeling and management software application. Built atop ArcGIS, InfoWater seamlessly integrates advanced water network modeling functionality with the latest generation of ArcGIS.

      InfoWater Map Display is a frequently-used tool for users to do color-coding and symbol-sizing in the map based on modeling inputs and outputs of all six element types. It can also show pipe flow directions and apply map display settings on domain only.

      In InfoWater Version 12.4, users can save a set of desired map display settings into the Operation tab, and make a switch between different map displays as needed. The following screenshot shows a map display for viewing status and another map display for viewing hydraulic parameters such as pipe flow and pump flow.

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        Trouble Opening InfoWorks ICM User Interface?

        Have you ever had an issue with opening the InfoWorks ICM software? Either the software becomes unresponsive or worse still the software fails to open. When you shut down ICM, ICM keeps a record of the previously opened geoplan windows. When you re-open the software, the geoplan windows are re-opened for you. This behaviour can be changed under Tools->Options->General and selecting the ‘None’ option under ‘Windows at Startup’.

        Figure 1: Tools->Options->General options to change behaviour of software when opening previously opened windows

        However, if you have not selected this option and the software is failing to open, it is possibly due to the re-opening of the geoplan windows. In this situation, the user can hold down the ‘shift’ key on their keyboard whilst InfoWorks ICM is opening and the software will open without opening the previously opened geoplan windows regardless of the options set.  The user can then access the software and open network geoplans as required.

        This tools is also present for other InfoWorks software (InfoWorks CS/InfoWorks RS/InfoWorks WS etc…).

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          Baseline Replacement Cost

          As one can imagine, it’s very difficult to forecast asset management budgets for thousands of underground pipes on a yearly basis. InfoMaster’s Baseline Replacement Cost tool simplifies this forecast to give users an easy to use tool to get an estimate of costs over a period of time. This blog will shed some light on the inputs and outputs in InfoMaster’s Baseline Replacement Cost tool.

          InfoMaster’s Baseline Replacement Cost tool has four main inputs: Install Date, Material, Replacement Cost, and Life Expectancy. The range of years, interest rate, and pipe length are also inputs, but these four main inputs determine whether the tool will be successful and generate results or not. Below are descriptions for each of these four inputs:

          1. Install Date – this is the year the pipe was installed.  The Baseline Replacement Cost tool will pull the year the pipe was installed from the full install date field.  Users can set the field InfoMaster will use as the Install Date field in the Facility and Asset Type Manager.  Pipes missing install dates will be noted in the IM Message window once the tool is run.  If a larger percentage of pipes are missing install dates, the tool will not run successfully.

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            System vs. Project Databases

            Often when starting an InfoMaster project and even when opening a project you have consistently worked with, the difference between the “System” and “Project” databases can be confusing. Let’s try to shed some light on this possible confusion.

            When creating a new InfoMaster project from scratch as show in the picture above, users will be asked to select or create a new system database and create a new project database.  The top option is for the system database.  The system database is there to serve just three specific functions. Continue reading

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              Turn any ICM or SWMM model into a forecasting system in 60 minutes with ICMLive/SWMMLive (Includes scripts – for US users)

              We are now in a time where models no longer sit on the shelf and become out-of-date in between master plans. Improvements in computing resources, software, and weather forecasts allow any model to turn into a real-time forecasting system.

              ICMLive lets you connect your ICM model to live data streams (and SWMMLive for SWMM models), and then run it on an automated basis on a server to produce forecasts and alerts. Once you have a model, the rest is quite easy. If you’re an InfoSWMM user, you’ll need to export your desired scenario as a SWMM INP text file and import it into SWMMLive.

              Prerequisites:
              • InfoWorks ICM or InfoSWMM with a calibrated model
              • Install ICMLive/SWMMLive, Workgroup Data Server, Live Server, and Data Loader (refer to our Getting Started Document)

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                Using SQL Queries to add Scenarios and Update Object Parameters

                There are many blog posts on here highlighting the usefulness and effectiveness of the SQL functionality.  This blog post provides another way to use SQL queries to automatically add scenarios to a network and then to change object parameters within these scenarios.  There are a number of ways these can be used but probably the most common example if to undertake sensitivity analysis, for instance take an existing 2D model and add 2 scenarios, one to increase roughness values by 10% and one to reduce roughness values by 10%.

                Assuming there is an existing network with a 2D zone, the first step is to write an SQL query to create the Scenarios.  This can be done simply by using the ADD SCENARIO keywords and then providing the name of the scenarios.  The example below creates 2 scenarios called ‘Mannings n +10%’ and ‘Mannings n -10%’

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                  Troubleshooting Hydraulic Models in InfoWorks ICM

                  We often get asked about troubleshooting models, and it’s often quite a difficult task to provide a good response, as much of troubleshooting is based on modelling experience of a range of models over a prolonged period of time…even then there are new things which crop up with either we’ve never seen or even thought of.  Anyway, I thought I would put together a few tips, things to look at when troubleshooting models.  This is by no-means an exhaustive list but is the type of approach I would take to troubleshoot a model.  I’ll focus on models which have successfully initialised as approaches to troubleshooting initialisation issues have been discussed elsewhere on this blog (http://blog.innovyze.com/2014/07/02/initialisation-in-infoworks-cs/).

                  Of course, troubleshooting a problematic, non-convergent model can be avoided by following best practice, providing sensible and well thought schematisation and using the validation errors/warnings to help the model process.  I also find it useful to build models iteratively, testing the model out at various stages, for instance as a 1D river model, before merging with a 1D urban drainage model before merging with a simple 2D mesh, before adding mesh detail.  It may be more time-consuming in the short term but my experience is that it helps solves many issues and speeds up the whole modelling process.  In fact whenever I get sent an integrated 1D-2D model, the first thing I do is ‘turn off’ the 2D, by setting bank discharge coefficients to 0 and all 2D nodes to sealed flood types, to check the 1D model works on it’s own.

                  Simulation Log Files

                  The first point that you’ll notice that a model is non-convergent will be the premature failure of the simulation and the simulation icon in the database tree will turn red.  I would advise reviewing the log file regardless of the simulation status.  With a non-convergent simulation you will still be able to open the results but the first step should always be to take a look at the simulation log file (Right click on the simulation icon Open As…Log Results text).  Scroll down to the bottom of the log file and you will see that final place that convergence failure occurred and the point the simulation ultimately failed.

                  Figure 1: Convergence Failure Message in Simulation Log File

                  In most situations it will be the locations noted here which are responsible for the simulation failure. Continue reading

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                    Retirement of InfoWorks WS is now complete

                    The formal announcement of the retirement of InfoWorks WS was made on the 17th January 2017, following the successful introduction of InfoWorks WS Pro.

                    Press Release: Innovyze Retires InfoWorks WS with Launch of More Powerful Next-Generation InfoWorks WS Pro Water Distribution Systems Modeling Software

                    Following this schedule, the Support Program for InfoWorks WS was formally closed on 15th December 2017. All existing customer support contracts for InfoWorks WS have now expired. This does not affect support contracts for any other Innovyze products. Continue reading

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