SMS:Plot Window

From XMS Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
A plot showing a cross section view of a river channel

At a glance

  • 2D plots to visualize results and compare to measured values
  • Profile plots view scalar data along an arc
  • Time series plots view scalar, vector, or flux (flow rate) data at a point or across an arc
  • Several kinds of plots can be used to compare model results with measured data


In SMS, the Plot Window can be used to display various plots. Plots aid in extracting data from two or three dimensional objects, model verification, and defining one-dimensional river models. By selecting Display | Plot Wizard, a step by step process is given to create a variety of plots. The wizard can also be reached by using the Plot Wizard Plot Wizard Macro.svg macro. The list of currently available plots in the Plot Wizard is shown below. All of the plots listed below are associated with observation coverages.

Available Plot Types

  1. Computed vs. Observed Data
  2. Residual vs. Observed Data
  3. Error vs. Simulation
  4. Error vs. Time Step
  5. Error Summary
  6. Time Series
  7. Observation Profile
  8. TUFLOW Cross Sections
  9. PTM Gages
  10. Runup/Overtopping Transect
  11. Runup/Overtopping Solution
  12. GenCade Inlet Time Series
  13. GenCade Shoreline Change and Transport
  14. Angle Representation Region (ARR) mesh quality assessment plot

Plot Wizard

Example of the Step 1 of the Plot Wizard

The Plot Wizard is used to bring up a plot window which will display the specified plot. There are two steps that guide through creating a plot.

Step 1 – Select the desired plot type from the list. Some plot types are hidden unless certain requirements are met.

  • The "TUFLOW Cross Section" plot requires a TUFLOW Cross Section coverage.
  • The "Runup/Overtopping Transect" and "Runup/Overtopping Solution" plots require a Runup/Overtopping simulation.
  • The plot "PTM Gages" requires a PTM Gage coverage.
  • The "GenCade Inlet TS" and "GenCade Shoreline" plots require a GenCade 1D grid.

Each plot is described as they are highlighted from the list. The Plot Wizard will also indicate if appropriate data exists to be able to make certain plots.

Step 2 – The plot is defined by selecting what data will compared, which time step will be shown, and other pertinent information. Each plot's options are described in more detail by click on the Plot Type links above.

By default, a plot is displayed after being created in a separate display window than the simulation data. A plot window can be minimized, moved, and resized just like any other window.

Plot Options

Right-clicking on a plot will bring up a menu of commands for formatting the data in the plot as well as giving access to tools for exporting the plot data for use in spread sheets or other plotting utilities.

Plot Window Right-Click Menu

The following Plot Window mouse right-click menus are available:

  • Plot Data – Opens step 2 of the plot wizard
  • Display Options – Opens the Profile Customization dialog
  • Axis Titles – Opens the Axis Titles dialog. The Axis Titles dialog allows editing the X and Y axis titles of plots.
  • Set as Display Defaults
  • Legend – Set the legend location (Top, Bottom, Left, Right)
  • Symbol Size – Set the symbol size (Micro, Small, Medium, Large)
  • Frame Plot – If the view is zoomed in to a portion of the plot, resets zoom extents
  • Maximize Plot – Makes the plot appear full screen
  • View Values – Opens the View Values dialog
  • Export/Print – Opens the Exporting Profile dialog

Time Settings Options

The formatting of Date / Times displayed in plots is controlled by the global time settings. See Time Settings for information on how to change the format times are displayed in.

View Values Dialog

View Values
Example of a View Values dialog

The View Values dialog displays the values used to create the plot. This dialog is accessed by right-clicking in the Plot Window and selecting the View Values command. The values can easily be copied from the dialog and pasted into a spreadsheet program or document using the following steps:

  1. Select the cells of interest from the spreadsheet
  2. Press CTRL + C; cell contents are now in the clipboard
  3. Select the paste destination
  4. Press CTRL + V

Saving a Plot

Plots generated in a project can be saved as plot file. The plot file contains the parameters used to generate the plot for the specific project. To save a plot file:

  1. Generate a plot using the plot wizard.
  2. Before closing the plot, use the File | Save As menu command.
  3. In the Save As dialog, select "Plot File (*.plt)" as the File of Type.

If multiple plots have been generated, all of the plots will be saved in the plot file.

Plot files are imported using the File | Open command. When importing a plot file, it should be imported into the same or similar project where it was generated. SMS will look for a mesh and datasets that were specified for the plot display. If a mesh doesn't exist, SMS will look for another mesh that contains an appropriately named dataset. If the dataset doesn't exist in the folder named in the plot file, SMS will look for another dataset with a matching name in a different folder. If an observation coverage was used to generate the plot, then an observation coverage must also exist in the project when importing the plot file.

Current, specified time steps are not saved.


Related Topics