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  4. How is GeoHECRAS different than HEC‑RAS?

How is GeoHECRAS different than HEC‑RAS?

GeoHECRAS is an easy-to-use 2D/3D graphical user interface data wrapper to the US Army Corps of Engineers HEC‑RAS. It builds upon the HEC‑RAS software and provides a single platform to rapidly construct and visualize a HEC‑RAS 1D and/or 2D model, saving engineer’s time by finishing their work.


GeoHECRAS is 100% compatible with the Army Corps of Engineers HEC‑RAS. It provides advanced modeling and visualization, such as ability to work and visualize results on a live 2D or 3D map of your choice (Google Maps, Bing Maps, and many more) by using CAD technology licensed from Autodesk while also providing GIS features and functionality.

The Army Corps of Engineers HEC‑RAS provides you with essential river modeling capabilities, but lacks an easy-to-use graphical interface, CAD and GIS capabilities, 2D/3D capabilities, support for live maps, undo/redo, multiple document interface (MDI), and many other capabilities that are quite common today in other computer software. Earlier, engineers needed at least three separate applications—HEC‑RAS, HEC‑GeoRAS, and ArcGIS—to get even close to what GeoHECRAS provides with ease.

Following is the list of additional functionalities GeoHECRAS provides to the Army Corps of Engineers HEC‑RAS software:

  • Load existing Army Corps HEC‑RAS projects and quickly georeference them to real-world maps
  • View and edit HEC‑RAS model in both 2D and 3D, including flying along the river
  • Cut HEC‑RAS cross sections by either polyline assignment, interactive drawing, or automatic generation
  • Extract HEC‑RAS cross sections directly from digital terrain models
  • Interactively draw river alignments, cross sections, roadway crossings, inline structures, lateral structures, storage areas, and storage area connections directly on the map and automatically extract elevation data from the underlying terrain model
  • Create either rectangular and/or adaptive 2D meshes
  • Insert 2D conveyance obstructions to account for flow blockages due to buildings and other structures
  • Construct 2D ineffective flow areas to account for stagnant flow areas at roadway crossings and other dead-flow areas
  • Automatically identifies and fixes 2D mesh bad elements
  • Incorporate bridge piers, abutments, and embankments into a 2D mesh
  • Generate digital terrain surfaces from a variety of elevation data, including online elevation sources.
  • Generate flood maps from HEC‑RAS steady flow and unsteady flow results
  • Generate flood hazard maps showing contours of flow depth, velocity, and flow depth x velocity
  • Edit and compute floodplain encroachments interactively, speeding up FEMA flood study analysis and submittal
  • Display FEMA online flood maps directly on top of existing HEC‑RAS models
  • Export HEC‑RAS projects directly to Google Earth, AutoCAD Civil 3D, ESRI ArcMap, and display of steady flow and unsteady flow flood maps as well as animation of unsteady flow flood maps
  • Support for AutoCAD Civil 3D and ESRI GIS data, allowing importing and exporting of data
  • Construct and edit model interactively using HEC‑RAS specific editing and model creation tools
  • Unlimited undo and redo allows quick changes and correction of mistakes
  • Automatic assignment of bank stations, flow lengths, ineffective flow areas, and more
  • Edit and compare multiple plans using built-in Scenario Manager
  • Underlay online maps, including Google Maps, Microsoft Bing Maps, and more
  • Work with multiple HEC‑RAS projects simultaneously using the Multiple Document Interface (MDI), including copying and pasting of cross sections and other data between HEC‑RAS projects
  • Handle larger HEC‑RAS projects with 64-bit, multi-core, parallel processing support

About the Author Chris Maeder

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