Why fine mapping of watercourses?

September 2, 2020

There are many reasons to map watercourses well. Let’s look at—among other reasons— their protection as well as the protection of both the natural and anthropic environments that border them. We could, without a doubt, agree that in order to develop our territories sustainably, we must have a good understanding of their environmental characteristics, hence the benefit of having fine mapping of watercourses. Read this post to find out how geographic information systems (GIS) specialists can harness a unique combination of training courses offered by Esri Canada.

We understand that sustainable development is a real challenge. To help you with the hydraulic aspect, the ArcGIS platform offers cutting-edge GIS tools which, combined with LiDAR data (which is currently offered for free on the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Park [MFFP] website, as well as on the Open Government Portal) allow you to map potential flow in order to obtain a hydrographic network that reflects reality as close as possible.

What is LiDAR?

Airborne LiDAR, also known as light detection and ranging, is a remote sensing technique that uses lasers to determine the distance from a surface that reflects light. ArcGIS Pro supports LiDAR data in the optimized .las or .las format. (.las is the industry standard binary format used to share airborne LiDAR data.) To work with your LiDAR data, you need an ArcGIS Pro Advanced license with the Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst extensions. When performing your environmental or suitability analyses, tools such as "Colorize LAS" and "LAS Dataset to Raster" are essential for making informed decisions. For example, the "Colorize LAS" tool allows you to assign real and near-infrared imagery colours to your .las point cloud. The "LAS Dataset to Raster" tool, on the other hand, will allow you to derive detailed elevation layers such as your digital terrain model (DTM) and digital elevation model (DEM). The DEM will be particularly useful for detailed mapping of watercourses.

To make it easier for you, Esri Canada has set up two training courses where you will learn the essential steps of a solid watercourse mapping process. In two days, you will be able to: 1) use LiDAR data with ArcGIS software and 2) perform hydrological analysis with ArcGIS Pro. Note: the Using LiDAR Data in ArcGIS course is designed for those who are new to LiDAR data.

Course 1 – Using LiDAR Data in ArcGIS

This course explores the techniques and functionalities available to optimize the use of LiDAR data with ArcGIS software. Participants will learn how to integrate and manage LiDAR point cloud data with LAS and mosaic datasets. Learning how to visualize and perform analysis in 2D/3D with tools available with the ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS Pro 3D Analyst extension and also how to best serve the LiDAR data through web services. By developing LiDAR data management strategies with ArcGIS, participants will be able to help support the decision-making process in their organization.

Course 2 – Hydrologic Analysis Using ArcGIS Pro

Discover how to create a coherent hydrologic network from open data. Explore in detail the steps, workflows and best practices for using geoprocessing tools to build watershed and hydrologic networks. You will also get a chance to create a 3D model of your network.

Required licenses

If you plan on processing LAS datasets that are in point cloud form to extract a DEM, you will need the ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension with a Basic, Standard or Advanced ArcGIS license. However, if you wish to create a mosaic dataset, you will need a Standard or Advanced ArcGIS license. To run the hydrologic analyses, you will then need the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension with your Basic, Standard or Advanced ArcGIS license. For more questions, please contact an Esri Canada representative, who will be happy to assist you!

This blog post was written in French by Audrey Beaudoin-Arcand and can be viewed here.

Previous Article
App of the Month: Northern Peatlands in Canada
App of the Month: Northern Peatlands in Canada

Using ArcGIS StoryMaps, journey through Canada’s northern peatlands and discover why they are important in ...

Next Article
Land Information Ontario – The Journey to Open Data
Land Information Ontario – The Journey to Open Data

We chat with the MNRF’s GeoHub Project Manager about their journey to modernize access to Ontario’s authori...

Have a comment or question?

Contact Us