SMS:Datasets VTK

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A dataset is a set of values associated with each node or cell in a geometric object. Datasets:

  • Can be scalar (1 value) per object or vector (2+ values per object).
  • Can be steady state (constant through time) or transient (values change at specified times).
  • Can have active information to specify that specific nodes or cells are inactive in a model (generally used by solutions to indicate dry areas). Activity can be represented by NULL values in the dataset or as separate on/off values for nodes or cells.
  • Control how contours, vectors, and functional surfaces are displayed.

Generating Datasets

Datasets can be generated in a variety of ways such as:

  • Output from a numeric engine (water level, velocity, concentration, transport, etc.)
  • Tabular values in a text file entered by the user or exported from another application such as a GIS
  • Created by interpolating from a scatter point set to a grid, or mesh
  • Generated by performing mathematical operations on existing datasets with the Dataset Calculator

Project Explorer

Datasets are displayed and managed in the Project Explorer. See the Project Explorer article for more information.

Active Dataset

Each geometric object has a dataset that is termed the "active dataset." The active dataset is used for contour and vector display and may be used for functional surfaces, 2D plots, or other functionalities keying off this dataset.

Project Explorer Icons

Different icons are used to represent datasets in the Project Explorer including the active/inactive state of the dataset. These icons are below:

Dataset Type Inactive Icon Active Icon
Elevation Elevation Data Inactive.svg Elevation Data Active.svg
Scalar Scalar Dataset Inactive.svg Scalar Dataset Active.svg
Vector Vector Dataset Inactive.svg Vector Dataset Active.svg

Time Information

Transient datasets (those that change with time) have information and functionality that is not available for steady state datasets. A time step represents a specific time and its values in a transient dataset. A dataset may use absolute times meaning the dataset has full date/time information. Alternatively, a dataset can use relatives times which means they know how much time has elapsed since some non-specified zero time (generally the beginning of the simulation). When transient datasets are present, the Time Steps window may be present depending upon the current time settings as specified in the Preferences dialog.


The datasets and solutions are organized by folders. Create new folders and move datasets, solutions, and folders to other folders anywhere on the Project Explorer. Folders can be created by right-clicking on the certain items in the Project Explorer and selecting New Folder in the menu. A dataset or folder can be deleted simply by selecting the folder and selecting the Delete key or by right-clicking on the item and selecting the Delete option in the corresponding pop-up menu.

Datasets on VTK Objects

Datasets as used on VTK objects have different functionalities then those used in the original geometric representations in SMS. Some of the differences for VTK datasets include:

  • Each dataset can be mapped either to nodes or cells and the same geometric object can have both types of datasets at the same.
  • A new dataset calculator has been created. The new calculator has additional functionalities and options. For more information see the Dataset Calculator VTK topic.

Related Topics

External Links