I’m a Civil Engineering student and I’m currently developing a work for a subject named Fluvial Hydraulics. This work consists in characterizing a watershed - in short, this characterization is done by studying the surface of the watershed and the levels of rainfall that fall on it.

The study of the surface is the most complex part of this work, especially if it’s done by hand.  So I made a research about the GIS software (Geographic Information System) so that it would be easier to do this part of the work. This ended up being great for me, since it allowed me to make this study in 3D and not in 2D, as it was supposed to.

Since I have some basic knowledge about Google SketchUp I was able to elaborate this work a little bit more by simulating the raised signage of the watershed through 3D modeling. Actually, what I really wanted was to create an animation of the rainfall falling into the watershed, through AutoDesk Maya software, but I would have to learn more about the Maya software, since I have very little knowledge about it! 

So this work will focus on a region that frequently suffers from atmospheric phenomena, such as alluvia, and it’s known by its big raised signage – Madeira Island. I decided to study one of the watersheds responsible for the alluvia catastrophes registered in 2010, so that this work may be used in the future to prevent against catastrophes like those.

Step 1: Coordinates and Measurements - Google Earth

I found the coordinates of the place to study in Google Earth and also made a measurement from this place to the further away point of the island, so that I could insert them in Global Mapper.  One must check if the coordinates are in the Geographic format (latitude/longitude).

1 - Pick the place to study.

2 - Google Earth → Insert → Point Indicator

3 - The coordinates obtained in this point will be used in Global Mapper. It was chosen a point in the center of the island and it was made a measurement to the further away point that will be inserted in Global Mapper.

Tip: the coordinates can be easily obtained if you place the mouse above the area and write down the coordinates that will appear.

4;5 - Check if the coordinates are in the format “Degree, Decimal”. To do so press: Cmd + Preferences.

Awesome scientific ible! Great modeling technique!
Next semester I will have the same subject! Hope I could use this instructable in the future...
This is amazing!! Where are you studying? Are you able to generate .stl files of your models?

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Bio: Madeira Island Civil Engineer 1983
More by amagro: From Digital Terrain Data to 3D Printing Change infill density in a specific section on a 3D model for 3D printing. Study of a Watershed through 3D Modeling
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