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Drainage Analysis with StreamBuilder  v2.02

StreamBuilder is an extension for MapInfo Professional which gives you the ability to build drainage basins, stream networks and flow paths directly from a digital elevation model, with no other input required.

With a few mouse clicks, and working entirely within MapInfo Professional, you can extract the drainage information from the DEM in a highly accurate, efficient and user-friendly manner.

From this

To this (view in 3D)

Modes of Operation

You can extract drainage information from a DEM in one of 2 ways using StreamBuilder:
  1. Drainage for selected Outlets
    You select a number of outlet locations and StreamBuilder builds a drainage basin and/or stream network for each outlet.  StreamBuilder will assign any attributes from the selected outlets to the basins, thus allowing thematic mapping and other analysis.

  2. Drainage for entire DEM
    StreamBuilder examines the entire DEM to identify drainage outlets.  For each drainage outlet identified, a drainage basin and/or stream network will be generated if the drainage basin is larger than a threshold area.

For each of these drainage generation methods, you have the option of creating sub-basins and streams for each outlet, or creating just one basin (and no streams) per outlet.  If you choose to create sub-basins and streams, then one sub-basin is created for each link in the stream network, thereby producing a hierarchical set of drainage sub-basins.

You can also build Flow Paths from any number of source points. The flow paths trace the path that water would take if draining from the source location.

In the above images, sub-basins and streams were generated for one selected outlet selected located in the main drainage channel at the bottom right of the DEM.

DEM Formats

StreamBuilder uses MapInfo's extensible grid architecture to read any grid file for which there is a grid format handler available.

  • MapInfo *.mig (grid handler supplied in MapInfo Professional v5.5+)
  • Vertical Mapper *.grd (grid handler supplied in MapInfo Professional v6.0+)
  • ER Mapper and other bil (grid handler available in Discover 4.0+)
  • Geosoft (grid handler available in Discover 4.0+)
  • USGS DEM formats (DEM, DTED, GTOPO - grid handlers supplied in MapInfo Professional v6.0+)
  • other formats if grid handler is available
  • StreamBuilder will also read ER Mapper bil, Arc/Info GridAscii, and Ascii XYZ format files directly


Depending on the processing options you have selected, StreamBuilder will output some or all of the following:

  • Table of polygons representing the catchments
  • Table of polylines representing links in the stream network or polylines of flow paths
  • Table of points representing nodes in the drainage network
  • Table of points representing drainage outlets, to aid in sample site selection
  • Optional grids of flow direction and upstream area
  • Log file showing processing steps, output and statistics

Need more information ?  Contact us at info@avantra.com.au

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Avantra Geosystems 2007