Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New R package dams: Dams in the United States

The dams package provides functionality to access over 74,000 dams in the National Inventory of Dams (NID) from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the single largest source of dams in the United States. Each dam has 64 attributes such as geographical, structural, hydraulic and operational characteristics.

Obtaining data directly from NID has to be done manually and the website's GUI is not user-friendly - only a couple of thousand records could be displayed at a time on the GUI, but there is no option to save these records to a file. Data was obtained manually from NID's website and then cleaned up. The dams package comes with a sample of the cleaned data and the `extract_nid` function from the package could be used to obtain all of the cleaned data.

Here is the dams package home page on CRAN. Here are some graphics from the package vignette.

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