The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-8
28 Nov 2014
 | 28 Nov 2014

Constructing a Comprehensive Tool for Deriving Drainage Network using Semi-Open Source Tools and Comparision on Different DEM Data Sources

P. K. Gupta and P. Yadav

Keywords: Drainage network, DEM, Hydrology tools, Python, ArcPy

Abstract. Digital elevation model (DEM) provides elevation information in raster format for an area which help in analysis as these phenomena are gravity depended. Hydrological study requires creation of drainage network map. DEM is the primary input for this process. Generally 6 or more processes are required to be completed to get the drainage network. These are available in form of hydrology tools in the ArcGIS software. These processes are manual and time consuming which increases the chances of human error. An automated process is constructed in this paper which aims to create a tool that can handle multiple files in an intelligent manner.

The input DEM plays a significant role in hydrological studies. This study attempts to do a comparative study to analyse the variation in the drainage network and the intermediate products with the change in the input DEM.

A tool is created using ArcPy site package in Python programming language to integrate all required hydrology tools. The script is then used to create a tool in ArcGIS 10 which takes location as an input parameter and perform the process on all the DEM files inside the directory. The tool creates separate directory for every DEM file and thus reduces the chances of file mismanagement. The proposed tool is tested on two different datasets namely ASTER GDEM and Cartosat DEM. The tool runs efficiently on both the datasets and thus provides results to compare the drainage pattern produced by these different data sources.