Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

Short Courses (CPD)

Short Courses (CPD)

About the Course

Hydroinformatic Systems Development

This course is no longer delivered

Providing an introduction to the skills and technology required for the construction of hydroinformatic systems, this Course will enable the participant to utilise a range of software tools and model concepts to create hydrological and hydraulic software systems. Training is provided in the use of a series of hydroinformatic tools, including Graphical User Interface builders, Geographic Information Systems, Code Builders, Databases, Data Analysis and Data Modelling Packages and Communication Tools.

Hydroinformatic Systems Development is the art of coupling new and existing datasets to the latest modelling theory and expert knowledge. Hence, the key hydroinformatic skill is knowing which tools to choose and how to make those tools communicate with each other. The tools can then be used for research and development or for the production of bespoke commercial modelling systems.

Hydroinformatics is a rapidly developing field which integrates knowledge and understanding of both water quantity and quality with the latest developments in information technology to improve technical and business decision making within the water industry. Systems Development is the full life cycle development of software tools from their initial conception, design, software implementation, to verification and the end-user implementation.


Advanced modelling systems in the informatics age are comprised of many software tools. It is impossible to understand them all in detail; hence, you need to acquire the generic underlying skills of information processing, communication, data visualisation and systems development. Hydroinformatic Systems Development will show, through the use of code builders, databases, mapping software and the internet, the common denominators of data handling and model construction. By the end of the course, your expectations as both a software user and a software creator will be greatly increased. When using 'off-the shelf' packages, your ability to go into a software package quickly and perform suitable analysis will become second nature. You will become skilled enough to choose the software environment in which you wish to develop your own software applications. In this day and age, most packages have an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), along with a basic set of tools, an advanced set of options, and most have their own programming languages for customising your application. During the course, you will learn the basic operations of a range of software tools, and you will be given examples of advanced analysis options that are key to hydroinformatics plus an adequate level of programming skills that will encourage you to create your own systems. You will also create your own modelling system during the week, that will use common hydrological theory, a Graphical User Interface (GUI), a relational database, an interactive Geographical Information System (GIS) and a climate scenario generator. All of these components will be set in an open, distributed system that allows you to use the right tool for the right job. Examples throughout the week will be taken from hydrological catchment modelling and river hydrodynamics.

Upon completion of the course, you will:

  • have an appreciation of basic software design concepts;
  • be introduced to the concepts of an object-oriented approach to software design;
  • understand how to create models using Advanced Excel and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA);
  • be able to create Graphical User Interfaces using Excel and ArcView;
  • know how to utilise a spatial analysis tool using the ArcView GIS;
  • understand how to use time series analysis, with examples from a bespoke climate generator software package;
  • know how to archive and analyse data in a relational database;
  • be capable of integrating the above components in an open, distributed modelling system;
  • be able to design and test a basic Decision Support System (DSS);
  • have the ability to create a full GUI and modelling system.

Who should attend?

  • Any consultant who wishes to create software systems to market on a commercial basis will benefit from this course.
  • All people in the water industry that handle either spatial or temporal data will benefit from this course.
  • Anybody who has to process and visualize data input into summary statistics and graphs will benefit from the data handling skills offered by the course.
  • Any person who needs to create a modelling system should first learn about the range of options and skills that are open to them.
  • Water managers who need to know the future direction of hydroinformatics development.
  • Any person who wishes to enter into the subject area of hydroinformatic systems development as a means to further their career, by improving their computing skills.

Course Outline

Course commences at 11:00 on Monday and ends at 13:00 on Friday.

  • Monday
    • Coursework Tutorial for I2I
    • Introduction to HSD
    • Catchment Information Systems: The CHASM project; HydroLog CIS; Telemetry
    • Data integration and modelling: web-based SHETRAN
  • Tuesday
    • Hydroinformatic Tools
    • GIS Mapping and data integration
    • GIS Part 1: Introduction to ArcGIS
  • Wednesday
    • GIS Part 2: Advanced Hydro ArcGIS
    • Visualisation Methods
    • Group A: Visit to Virtual Laboratory Cave
    • Group B: Advanced mapping tools - laser scanners
    • Visualisation: Google Earth, Virtual Reality, Flood simulation Youtube
  • Thursday
    • Creating your own Catchment Information System
    • Group A: Catchment Instrumentation
    • Group B: GPS Mapping
    • Group A: GPS Mapping
    • Group B: Catchment Instrumentation
    • GPS data: integrating with an existing GIS
    • The internet and creating web pages
    • WEB 2.0, Google and new APIs
  • Friday
    • Web Practical
    • Advanced Hydroinformatic Systems
    • Course Summary and Coursework