An Introduction to Hydro GeoAnalyst
Hydro GeoAnalyst (HGA) is an environmental data management system that integrates a complete suite of analysis, visualization and reporting modules, with a powerful and flexible database. Watch the HGA Lighting Talk to get an overview of all it has to offer in under 4min!
HGA is a desktop solution and must be installed on your machine (laptop or desktop). It runs on Windows 7, 8.1 or 10.
Online Help can be found here. It contains more up to date information than the in-program help or the pdf of the manual.
Team Licensing allows for multiple concurrent users to run the program (more licenses can be added as required). Licensing Help can be found here.
The easiest way to take a look at what HGA can do is to install and review the Demo Project. The demo project can be installed from right inside the program. You can find the instructions to install the Demo Project here.
We currently support SQL 2012 or 2014 versions including Full SQL Server editions, as well as Express and Local DB editions.
Hydro GeoAnalyst allows for both SQL Server Authentication or Windows Authentication when connecting to a project database.
HGA needs to be installed on your local machine – however the database for your project can be stored on a SQL Server that is installed anywhere on your network – so long as you have permission to it!
An HGA project consists of 2 things – a database and project specific files. SQL Server is the kind of database HGA uses (it is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft). SQL Server manages the database(s) that you create with HGA.
Within Hydro GeoAnalyst we refer to stations – stations are simply a location with an X and Y coordinate. It could be a well, or a boring, or a sampling location etc.
When you create a new project you will notice the ALL Stations node in the Project tree under the Station Groups branch– it is purple because it is different than all the rest (blue for static station groups and green for dynamic station groups) – it is the only permanent station group. You cannot delete it – all stations entered (manually or imported) will go into this station group.
A comment about coordinates – X and Y coordinates are stored in the database as latitude and longitude (WGS 1984). When importing coordinates (using the General import option in the DTS) you will see degrees as unit in mapping step – the second step is where you indicate what coordinate system they are in (and what unit). This way you can import data from more than 1 coordinate system – it is all converted to latitude and longitude (covers the entire globe) and saved in the database. Then the coordinates are projected back into 1 single projection that you selected for the project.
Local Coordinates – the one exception to above – all coordinate transformation is turned off – x and y are stored in the database as is – this means ALL data (including what is brought into the Map Manager) must be using the same coordinate system. If you choose to use Local Coordinates for your project – you cannot change this at a later time.
As mentioned, Hydro GeoAnalyst contains several modules both for data management purposes and analysis/visualization purposes. All of the following modules are included with HGA.
Data Management Modules:
- Template Manager – this module allows user to adjust the structure of the database. One of the things that sets Hydro GeoAnalyst apart from other data management programs is that we allow for a flexible database structure. You can edit existing tables and fields as well as create new ones – and you can do this at any time during the project. You can save database templates so they can be reused on future projects. The template manager provides you a lot of power over your database and recommend that if you are going to make a lot of structural changes that you have some SQL and database knowledge to understand the repercussions of making those changes.
- DTS – the Data Transfer System consolidates a number of different import routines. It helps you to get your data into the database and also validates your data as it is being imported. The General import routine should be used for import coordinates – as this routine will do the necessary coordinate conversions. It also does unit conversion on import. The is an import routine for the EDDs that are validated with the Quick Checker tool as well as one for Mobile EDDs. Other import routines include one specific for chemical data, Diver files, LAS files, and bulk import of images.
- EDD Workflow – this workflow covers a few modules. The EDD Template Designer which is where you design your EDDs based on your database structure. The Quick Checker which uses your EDD template to help you validate and format your data stored in excel spreadsheets. We also have an option to make your EDDs mobile – this option generates HTML5 forms which are published to a webserver for you to download to your mobile device (phone or tablet). More questions about Mobile EDDs? Check out this video. As mentioned above the DTS contains import routines specifically for the Quick Checker and Mobile EDDs.
- Event Planning – allows you to plan and organize your field activities – for example schedule your stations for monitoring, then prepare a plan indicating which stations need sampling, which QA/QC samples that need to be prepared (Duplicates, Trip Blanks and Equipment Blanks), the parameters that the samples will be analyzed for, additional parameters that might need to be collected in the field (e.g. pH, water temp, TDS etc) and finally a checklist to help organize the field techs. When the field techs return from the field they can then use the workflow included in the event planning module to close out their plans – indicating what was sampled and what was missed – and even re-scheduling missed stations.
- Query Builder – this module allows you to query out a sub-section of data from the database for filtering, reporting, and qualifying/quantifying the data. Queries are just a question you ask of the database – like which stations are missing coordinates? Where are there concentrations of a particular chemical above a certain value? Etc. Often the Visualization modules will use a saved query as the source of data. You only need to learn a little SQL language to build your queries in the Query Builder – selecting the field to display and adding conditions (to restrict the results). However, if you are fully familiar with SQL you can also interact directly with the database by writing your queries on your own in the SQL Statement section.
- Lab QAQC – this module allows you to perform QA/QC checks on your laboratory data. We have incorporated checks for Duplicates, Spikes, Blanks, Holding Times, Dilution Factor, and Maximum Detection Limit.
- List Editor – this module allows you to create lookup lists (of valid values) on just about any field in the database. This results in drop downs being available for users to select from when entering data manually, but the lists are also used for validation during import and can be used as conditions for EDD templates as well.
- Material Specification – this module is a specialized list on the Soil Type field in the Lithology table. What you are doing in this module is associating a particular soil type with an image. This information is used in a number of visualization modules including the Well Profile, Cross Section Editor, and Scene Viewer.
- 3D Interpolation – this module allows you to interpolate your concentrations stored within the database to be displayed as plumes in our Scene Viewer module. It is based on a saved query that includes the x,y,z of the chemical as well as the result value and date. You can generate static or transient plumes. These plumes can be visualized within the Scene Viewer module.
- Online Sharing – this module allows you to share parts of your HGA project with others that do not have the program. You can share project details, results from saved queries, as well as a google map with you stations as well as water levels. You generate HTML files that are stored locally (which you can simply pass to others) or you can publish the HTML files to our webserver or your own and then simply share the link. You can find an example from our Demo Project here.
- Well Profile – this module allows you to visualize one station at a time and display any data stored in the database either as a depth or as an interval. The Well Profile templates are customizable – several are included with HGA – however you are free to make as many new ones as you need. There are several different columns types you can include in your template such as; Scale, Lithology, Well Construction, Plot, Depth, and Interval. The data displayed is being pulled from tables or saved queries so as soon as new data is entered into the database the Well Profile will display the new (or edited) data. We now also include an option to display true vertical depth for angled wells.
- Map Manager – this module allows you to perform spatial analysis – you can load your queries and create contours and/or colour shading, you can include images and dxf files, shape files. The Map Manager is also where you are going to draw your cross section lines.
- Cross Section Editor – this module allows you interpret both on a geological layer as well as a hydrogeological layer. If needed you can also draw your model layers (which can be exported) if you are continuing with a numerical modelling program such as Visual MODFLOW Flex. The Cross Section Editor displays the stations (with the soil types and images as assign in the Material Specification) that are included in the buffer you provide when drawing the cross section line in the Map Manager. You then are provided tools to draw your interpretation of what is happening between those known points. You can also display the location of screens and water levels, as well as surfaces on your cross sections. We also provide an option for you to display a Well Profile for selected stations on your cross section.
- Scene Viewer – this module allows you to visualize your site data in 3D. You can load project data such as station groups, cross sections and plumes. You can also load other data to help you understand your site such as surfaces, DXF, shape files, and georeferenced images. Would you like to see an example – check out this video!
Throughout Hydro GeoAnalyst we have integrated MS Office templates as a way of presenting, printing and creating reports. Most people are familiar with the MS Office suite of products – so working with and adjusting these templates are fairly straight forward. Several templates come with HGA – you can find them in the project tree under the Office Reports branch (templates folder).
Print to Excel – this allows you to print the content of a grid to an excel template. This would include the results of a query, the station list, the results from the data filter tab or or the station data tab.
Create Excel Pivot – this allows you to push the results of a query (on the Data Query tab) to a Pivot ready Excel template.
Chart in Excel – this allows you to push the results of a query (on the Data Query tab) to an Excel templates that will automatically create time series charts for you. You can chart all the data together in one single chart – or you can pick from a number of options to create multiple charts per page with varying number of parameters per chart.
Print to PowerPoint – this option allows you to print images to a PowerPoint template including saved queries containing images (that were saved in the database), Well Profile images, and Scene Viewer images.
Extend your capabilities even further – Hydro GeoAnalyst integrates with our other products including:
- AquaChem – for performing water quality plotting and analysis, exceedance reporting, trend analysis, and geochemical modelling.
- AquiferTest – for performing pump test and slug test analysis, interpretation and visualization.
- Visual MODFLOW Flex – for creating conceptual and numerical model of groundwater flow and contaminant transport.
Please note: these products have costs associated with them.