SUPERSLR - Stanford University's Project on Engineering Responses to Sea Level Rise

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Sebastian GeoData System Help

Basic Help & Introduction

(Cross-posted in General Usage)

The Sebastian geodata system is based on the principles of cut/copy and paste. Geometries (points, paths, and polygons) should be drawn using Google Earth's built-in tools (see the Google Earth User Guide for more information: Placemarks, Paths and Polygons). After creating these features, a simple cut or copy action prepares the feature for entry into Sebastian. Clicking on an existing feature (such as a Port with a ferry icon), then choosing “Add Port Polygon” or “Add User Note” for polygons or points, respectively, which should promptly open a form where a paste action into the field titled “Paste new KML” completes the entry. Please note that all other available fields must be filled out, and the submit button must be pressed in order for the submission to occur. All data additions, edits, deletions, and model runs will receive a response message indicating if the action was successful or if there was an error.

Editing an existing geometry is similar to adding a new feature. Create a new geometry using Google Earth's built-in drawing tools (as above), then cut/copy the new item. Next, click on the feature you wish to edit, choosing the edit option (i.e., “Edit Port Polygon”), and fill out the form as described previously.

Information associated with a feature, sometimes called “Metadata” in GIS, may be viewed and/or edited if a “View/Edit” option is available in the item's balloon upon clicking the feature.


Q. In what units are these data?

A. Sebastian operates entirely in the metric system. Most units are displayed in the hint/description next to a form field. If you are unsure about a unit, please contact us (

Q. I downloaded the access file, but I can't open it in Google Earth. What's wrong?

A. In some instances, the access file downloads with the extension ”.py”; please change this extension or add ”.kml” in order to open the file in Google Earth. This issue arises due to certain browsers and operating systems not recognizing the file type. Selecting “open this file” instead of downloading it may circumvent this issue.

Q. Why am I getting an "Internal Server Error" when I attempt to run the Port Protector Model?

A. The model is timing out while solving for the optimum path. A few items may speed up the solving:

  • Smaller grid size
  • Start/End Polygons (only zero or two allowed per solving grid)

Note that the model may still be unable to find a solution for some ports due to other factors such as a region that is too deep to permit construction.

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