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The official Jupyter Conference
Aug 21-22, 2018: Training
Aug 22-24, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Using JupyterLab for flood map development: Approaches for improving productivity and reproducibility

Seth Lawler (Dewberry)
1:50pm–2:30pm Friday, August 24, 2018
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Scientists, engineers, and students

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of scripting languages and functionality

What you'll learn

  • Understand what makes good notebooks for both technical and nontechnical end users
  • Learn how to create notebooks that connect to data easily and are OS independent
  • Discover how to use the many features of JupyterLab to write interactive, collaborative, and well-documented code in one sitting
  • Explore examples of interactive plotting and mapping in notebooks


The development of flood maps requires the collaboration of many specialists, including coastal scientists, hydrologists, engineers, and geospatial analysts. With such a diverse team comes unique preferences in data types, computational tools, and operating systems, creating a dynamic that is often compartmentalized and susceptible to bottlenecks. No universal tool will completely resolve this issue. However, the rigorous use of JupyterLab offers several opportunities for improvement when the following key concepts are included: documentation, reproducibility, ease of use (both technical and nontechnical), OS-friendly file and path management, functions that are accessible, lean, and out of the main cell, and data visualization.

Seth Lawler details how the new features of JupyterLab can be used to facilitate the creation of lean, feature-rich notebooks suitable for sharing with colleagues and clients of all technical backgrounds. Along the way, Seth explains how to make the most out of consoles during notebook development, use bash commands in the terminal for file management, keep notebooks (relatively) clutter free through judicious use of the text editor, implement data linkages and interactive plotting, and integrate interactive maps in notebooks (GIS capabilities).

Photo of Seth Lawler

Seth Lawler


Seth Lawler is an engineering consultant with expertise in coastal and riverine surface water modeling. A subject-matter expert in scientific programming with experience developing and scaling serial applications for parallel processing in high-performance and cloud computing environments, Seth has worked on wide-ranging projects at the national, state, and local level, including the development and quality control of tools in use by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Geological Survey. He is currently completing a PhD in civil engineering at George Mason University, where he is conducting research with the National Weather Service to enhance modeling and forecasting capabilities in areas influenced by coastal and fluvial flooding mechanisms.