FIM Toolbox: Prepare Your FIM Science

Science Center Objects

The FIM Toolbox contains comprehensive information on the Flood Inundation Mapping program, including how to develop a flood inundation map library. This section of the FIM Toolbox provides information on how to prepare your FIM science. The Toolbox is updated as new resources become available.

Step 1. Build your project team, select your stream reach and USGS streamgage, and identify available data and models (both hydraulic and elevation).

The first thing you need to do is build your flood inundation team. Teams typically consist of representatives from USGS, NWS, local government (engineers or emergency managers), and state emergency management. We also recommend that you consider including (or at least consult with) additional stakeholders such as your local floodplain managers, infrastructure managers (levees, dams, navigation, or public works), first responders, and other federal, state and local government representatives and agencies.

►  USGS representatives for a USGS FIM Library:

If you are building a typical USGS FIM library, you will likely be working with a USGS partner that you already know. They will be your FIM team, serve as the USGS lead author, and will help guide your library through the USGS review and approval process.

►  USGS representatives for a USGS Furnished FIM Library:

If you are creating a Furnished FIM Library, you may not have a USGS representative on your FIM team (although we recommend it). You will need to contact the USGS Water Science Center who oversees your selected streamgage and work with the Center Director (or their designee) during the Furnished FIM Library process. You may also contact the USGS FIM Program Coordinator for help determining your local USGS contact.


Step 2. Select your hydraulic model, complete the model, and QC your results.


Step 3. Perform your GIS processing, and QC your results.

  • ArcGIS tools for QA/QC. The tools were built by Kris Lander at NWS and designed to assist mapping partners with the process of developing and Quality Controlling flood mapping polygon and grid layers. These tools automate several checks that are a part of the NWS QC review process. The tools are not required (or recommended in the case of the polygon edge smoothing), but you may find them helpful in your endeavors. (updated 8/2/13, ArcGIS Tools and instructions.)
  • GIS layer/map editing procedure and python scripts for USGS mapper submission. GIS layer/map editing is recommended after the GIS layers are exported from HEC-RAS model runs. These procedures help to keep track of GIS editing process and follows the naming conventions of NWS/AHPS process. Once the GIS editing of layers are completed, python scripts can be run to get the GIS layers (polygons and depth grids) ready for USGS mapper submission. (updated 8/1/13, zip file of python scripts and instructions)