Open Source Software for Preprocessing GIS Data for Hydrological Models

IHE Delft hydrological modelling

Target Audience

The course is designed for professionals (engineers and scientists) active in the water sector, especially those involved in using simulation models for water management and GIS analysts. It is expected that participants have good computer skills and basic knowledge of GIS.


The course introduces acquisition and preprocessing of data for modelling using open source GIS and spatial analysis tools.

For many studies, models are used or developed. During modelling courses, not much attention is paid to the preprocessing of input data and parameters needed for the models. A lot of open source software is available for this purpose. Besides desktop tools with graphical user interfaces, scripting is very useful for processing large datasets and time series. With the skills learned in this course you will be able to find open access GIS data and more efficiently process your data for your models using tools like QGIS, GDAL and Python.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:

– Convert tables to GIS data
– Join attribute tables
– Calculate new attributes
– Convert between different GIS formats and projections
– Georeference a scanned map
– Digitize vector layers from scanned maps
– Delineate catchments and streams