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Using NHDPlus Value Added Attributes to Create Useful Analytical Tools

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Created: Aug 05, 2019 at 8:48 p.m.
Last updated: Aug 05, 2019 at 11:31 p.m.
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The NHDPlus version 2 provides a robust geospatial hydrologic modeling framework for the United States (except Alaska) that is being used in many different applications. The NHDPlus High Resolution will provide even greater detail and will extend the framework to include Alaska and adds contributing streams and areas in Canada and Mexico. All versions of NHDPlus include a set of Value-Added Attributes (VAAs) which greatly improve the capabilities for upstream and downstream navigation, analysis, and modeling. Examples of these enhanced capabilities include using structured queries for rapid retrieval of all NHDFlowline features and catchments upstream of a selected NHDFlowline feature; selecting stream segments (sorted in hydrologic order) for stream profile analysis and plotting; and calculating cumulative catchment attributes using hydrologic sequence routing attributes. VAA-based routing methods were used to produce NHDPlus HR attributes such as cumulative drainage areas.

This workshop will introduce the concepts behind the NHDPlus VAAs and show how they may be used in hydrologic analyses. The workshop will include in-depth examples and demonstrations. Attendees are welcome to follow along on their own laptop, but this is not a hands-on workshop. Open source code repositories containing useful tools, source code, and programming specifications will be introduced. A major goal of the workshop is to begin to build a community around these open source repositories.

The workshop is proposed for a 1.5-hour session. Alan Rea, USGS National Geospatial Program Hydrography Science and Applications Lead, will be the presenter/instructor, assisted by Karen Adkins and Michele (Mike) Basile.

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All materials for this workshop are posted to this repository for NHDPlus HR tools:

Right now this repository only includes the source for the VAA Navigator you'll see in the workshop. We'd like to build an open-source community here having all manner of tools related to the NHDPlus. 

See also This is a web page covering VAAs, including several we won't have time to cover in the workshop.

For additional NHDPlus resources, see the file "NHDPlus Resources.docx" posted in the above GitHub Repository, or temporarily posted to  

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How to Cite

Rea, A., K. Adkins, M. Basile (2019). Using NHDPlus Value Added Attributes to Create Useful Analytical Tools, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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