New Geospatial editing tools coming in HEC-RAS Version 5.1

Written by ironcore | June 23, 2017

New geospatial editing tools are currently in development for the next version of HEC-RAS-Version 5.1.  While no date has been set for the release of Version 5.1, it is expected sometime within the next year or two.  But no guarantees!  This will be an exciting new addition to HEC-RAS in that users will no longer be reliant on 3rd party software like ArcGIS or AutoCAD to develop geometric features like cross sections, river lines, flow lines, storage and 2D areas, etc.  All of this will be done within the HEC-RAS program environment.  And this will effectively eliminate the need for HEC-GeoRAS.

HEC recently published it’s Spring 2017 Newsletter, which has a very nice article by Cameron Ackerman ,P.E., D.WRE on some of the new tools and capabilities that will be available within HEC-RAS Version 5.1 for extracting GIS information from digital terrain models.  The newsletter can be read here:

Cameron’s article on new geometric editing features in Version 5.1 starts on page 20.  

The new geospatial editing toolbar will serve as the base point for adding and editing geospatial features in HEC-RAS and will be docked to the RAS Mapper window.  It includes editing tools for adding new features, selecting/editing features, undo and redo, and  plotting terrain profiles.

With these tools, you’ll be able to add geospatial features and interact with them directly within HEC-RAS.  Here you see the ability to move stream centerline points in RAS Mapper:

HEC also plans to have interactive help messaging while working in the geospatial environment to help the user identify errors in the geometry setup.  The following figure shows help messages for locations where bank lines do not intersect cross sections, which would result in missing bank stations.

These new features will make it much easier to identify problems with your model construction and fix those problems without having to leave HEC-RAS.  Here we see a poor definition of study limits not allowing for proper mapping of the flood inundation zone.  By quickly adjusting the study limit polygon, a more appropriate inundation map can be drawn.
This is just a brief preview of all of the exciting geospatial editing tools HEC-RAS will include in Version 5.1.  Please read the article by Cameron Ackerman in the HEC Spring 2017 Newsletter for more information.


  1. Michael Pantell

    on June 26, 2017

    This is all great stuff! I'm very excited about the ability to select and edit multiple nodes. It's the little things that makes a world of difference.

    What are others excited or hopeful to see?

  2. Justin Relitz

    on June 28, 2017

    These will be great features and make it so much easier to edit HEC-RAS data inside of the program rather than using HEC-GeoRAS or other GIS tools. I read the newsletter and it looks very promising.

  3. Chris Goodell

    on June 28, 2017

    I agree!

  4. Anonymous

    on June 29, 2017

    How can I get the alpha/beta version of the V5.1?

  5. Chris Goodell

    on June 29, 2017

    It's not out yet, but that would be up to HEC if you want to test the beta version. You should contact them.

  6. arkads1

    on August 31, 2017

    It would be great to have a tool which clears DTM from culverts or similar objects or a tool to generate the river bed from cross sections along the river reachline and to paste it into DTM

  7. Jeanette

    on October 18, 2017

    In RAS Mapper 5.0 there is an option to create a terrain feature from cross sections. You can then make a new terrain that combines it with your existing DEM.

  8. Alex

    on March 28, 2018

    Hi, i came across this post from Oct 2017, and would like to do what it describes: combine surveyed channels XSs with a lidar generated DTM, to edit (create a new) a terrain. i don't see the option Jeanette describes. I am using HECras v 5.0.3. but my Ras Mapper version shows 2.0.0. is v 5.0 available? thanks

  9. Chris Goodell

    on April 5, 2018

    Erosion 5.0.3 is available on the HEC website.

  10. Chris Goodell

    on April 5, 2018

    That would be HEC-RAS 5.0.3…

  11. Luis A Partida

    on April 26, 2018

    I am waiting every day checking for 5.0.4 i cant wait…any update?

  12. Anonymous

    on November 6, 2018

    Any new word on when 5.1 is coming out?

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