Monday, May 13, 2013

MODFLOW-USG released by USGS

We are pleased to announce that MODFLOW-USG has now been released by the USGS. USG stands for UnStructured Grids and represents an exciting new concept in MODFLOW modeling. Groundwater Vistas Version 6.39 Build 2 and higher supports this new version of MODFLOW. When you download this update (or the new full installation), there is an updated tutorial manual located in the gwv6 documentation folder. A new chapter shows you how to get started with MODFLOW-USG.

I will also present a one-hour free webinar on MODFLOW-USG in Groundwater Vistas on 22 May 2013. As with past webinars there will be an early session at 11 am Eastern Time (USA) and a later session at 8 pm Eastern Time (USA). I will describe the new packages and features in MODFLOW-USG and how they have been implemented in Groundwater Vistas.
To sign up for the webinar, go to our web site on the main page and follow the link next to the session you want to attend.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Continuous Redraw Issue in Groundwater Vistas

There is a relatively rare issue in Groundwater Vistas where the plan view will not finish drawing before it starts over again.  This can continue indefinitely and is quite annoying.  It is also very hard to replicate.  It may happen for a particular model on one computer but not another and it does not happen all the time.  It appears to be a Windows issue but it's hard to say really what is causing it.

We have found a couple of ways of dealing with this problem.  A temporary fix is to just place another window over top of Groundwater Vistas, wait a couple of seconds, and the redrawing will finish.  We have also heard from some users that updating the video drivers for their system solved this problem.  One other permanent fix seems to be the following:

  • Right-click "computer" in Windows Explorer and choose "Properties".
  • Click on Advanced System Settings in the upper left side of this window.
  • Click on the Advanced tab on this property sheet.
  • Click "Settings" button in the "Performance" area at the top of this window.
  • Turn OFF the last item called "Use visual styles on windows and buttons".  This gets rid of the fancy borders on windows but speeds up all drawing on your system and seems to fix this issue with Groundwater Vistas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New iOS App

We have created a new app, called GWModel, for the Apple AppStore that allows you to display your groundwater model grid on iPhone/iPad/iPod.  The GWModel app displays a groundwater model grid on a map, satellite, or hybrid view. The model grids are exported from Groundwater Vistas to a special file that is uploaded to the mobile device via web site, email, dropbox, etc. On a GPS enabled device (e.g. iPhone), the user can see his/her current position in relation to the model grid. The app displays the row and column location of the user's location and highlights the relevant cell. The GWModel app can store multiple model grids. Notes and pictures can also be recorded on the mobile device for any model grid cell. The notes and pictures can be reviewed later.  In the next release, an email report can be sent from the device.

If you want to get this app, just search the App Store using the keyword "groundwater".  There are only about 5 groundwater apps in there.  To get a model grid onto your device, you first go into Groundwater Vistas and select Edit/GIS Options.  You must associate a shapefile projection file (*.prj) with your model.  This is used by Groundwater Vistas to convert your cell coordinates to latitude and longitude.  Then export a file using Files/Conversions/Model App.  Finally, you can email the file to your device, upload to a web site that you can access, or use dropbox (I use dropbox). 

I will be writing some additional documentation and putting that on our web site.  Go to and click on the "Mobile Apps" button.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Windows 8 Compatibility

Now that Windows 8 is here, I'm sure there will be questions about whether our software is compatible.  I have tested the new operating system and Groundwater Vistas, AquiferWin32, and GW3D all seem to work fine. 

Windows 8 appears to be Windows 7 with an annoying app layer added on top of the normal desktop.  Most of us will likely just need to hit the "desktop" button on this layer to get to our normal software, data, etc.  For those of you thinking of switching to Windows 8, here are a couple of my first impressions:

  • Only Microsoft could screw up something so basic as turning off your computer.  It now takes several mouse clicks if you can even find the shutdown in the first place.  I had to do a Google search for it.  You have to mouse over a little button in the lower right corner of your screen, pull up a weird context menu that sort of hovers over everything, then select Settings, and then shutdown.
  • The boot time seems to be much longer than Windows 7.  It always amazes me how fast a Mac boots compared to Windows and this new operating system is definitely a step in the wrong direction.
  • The Start menu is gone.  I'm not sure how you are supposed to find all of your software.  It seems to just put a link to it on the App layer.  That is where the Vistas icon was installed anyway.  You can pin it to the taskbar, so at least that is the same as Windows 7.  This is going to take some getting used to.  It's like Microsoft is trying to emulate a Mac and not doing a very good job of it.