GIS Services

What We Can Do:

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allow people to understand complex data and then apply that knowledge to overcome challenges. Using advanced GIS applications in hydrologic and hydraulic engineering, fluvial geomorphology, and water resources design, NHC can manage and analyze spatially referenced project data using the most current and complete datasets. This allows us to better integrate project planning, field activities, design, assessment, land acquisition, public engagement, construction, and environmental restoration tasks.

Brent Wolfe
British Columbia:
Derek Ray
Todd Bennett
Dan Healy
Ed Wallace
Marc Villeneuve
Asia and Africa:
Mike Okun
Latin America:
Guilherme deLima

Our experts' varied educational and technical GIS backgrounds allow us to develop innovative systems that capture, analyze, store, and display the often dissimilar types and formats of available geographic data for a project. Collectively, our programming expertise includes automated terrain processing and floodplain mapping, geo-database design and maintenance, and engineering model integration.


NHC uses GIS techniques to support its studies in hydrology, numerical hydraulic modeling, flood control, habitat restoration, channel morphology, dredging, fish habitat assessment, coastal geomorphology, identification and inventory of stream crossings, and watershed restoration.

Our GIS-based services include:

  • Database Design
    Programming development and design of databases as well as data collection.
  • Data Maintenance and Construction
    Including spatial data and metadata development.
  • Spatial and Image Analysis
    Designing custom analyses of multiple sources of spatial and attribute data for project planning and design.
  • Custom GIS Work
    Building of custom GIS applications and instruction in GIS techniques.
  • Risk and Assessment
    Flood risk analysis and floodplain mapping and management.
  • Numerical Modeling
    Pre- and post-processing of data as well as mapping of results.
  • Advanced Cartography
    Custom map production and presentation.


Our GIS related work has included:

  • FEMA Flood Hazard Mapping and DFIRM Database
    Many maps and hydraulic models to meet FEMA’s specifications for Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs). NHC’s civil engineers and hydrologists work closely with GIS experts to delineate floodplain boundaries in accordance with U.S. national standards.
  • Custom Tools and Scripts
    Custom designed and user-friendly tools and scripts to streamline workflows for many clients. We create solutions within the Esri ArcGIS framework using Model Builder and Python scripting language.
  • GIS Instructional Seminars and Workshops
    Custom designed training workshops to meet the specific needs of clients with different levels of GIS experience. Past groups have included the governments of India, Canada, and British Columbia, as well as county departments and water districts within the U.S. Training can be conducted on- or off-site, or via webinar.
  • Advanced Cartography and Map Production
    Properly formatted maps that convey important data quickly. NHC has produced award winning maps that present a clear and accurate depiction of valuable information, and in such a way that meets the expectations of all stakeholders.

Technical Approach & Capabilities:

NHC experts maintain their expertise in using the latest versions of GIS programs and applications through internal and external staff development and training. Some of the major software and applications we presently use include:

  • Esri ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcView and ArcInfo)
  • Esri Model Builder and Python Scripting
  • HEC-GeoRAS and HEC-GeoHMS
  • AutoCAD, MicroStation, and Google Earth Integration
  • ArcGIS Extensions: 3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst, ArcHydro, ET Surface & ET GeoWizards

Benefits & Results:

  • Streamlined workflow, clearer picture of complex data
  • Faster analysis, decision making is improved
  • Creates greater understanding between project stakeholders