Tracking Creatures of Bavarian Folklore Using a Least-Cost Path Model


Table of Contents

  1. Tracking Creatures of Bavarian Folklore Using a Least-Cost Path Model
  2. Setting up Your Workspace
  3. Preparing the Data
  4. Skill Drill: Geocoding an Address and Creating a CSV Table to Import As XY Data
  5. Skill Drill: Defining the Study Area
  6. Skill Drill: Acquire Elevation Data from the USGS National Map Viewer
  7. Skill Drill: Acquire Land Cover Data from the USGS National Map Viewer
  8. Skill Drill: Acquire Hydrography Data from the USGS National Map Viewer
  9. Changing Global Environment Settings for Raster Processing
  10. Creating Cost Surface Models Using a Relative Cost Scale
  11. Creating a Remap Table to Reclassify Elevation
  12. Skill Drill: Creating a Remap Table to Reclassify Slope
  13. Skill Drill: Creating a Remap Table to Reclassify Tree Canopy Density
  14. Converting the Hydrography Features to Cost Surface Models
  15. Creating a Total Cost Surface Model
  16. Creating a Cost-Distance Surface Model
  17. Creating a Migration Corridor
  18. Determining the Least-Cost Path
  19. Skill Drill: Creating a Map of the Results

Creating a Total Cost Surface Model

As mentioned earlier, a total cost surface model combines all of the cost factors you wish to consider for your model into one surface using a uniform set of cost units. The question remains about what mathematical function to use to combine the cost surface models. Like developing the relative scale, the methods for combining cost surface models into one total cost surface might require research, data collection, and ground truthing. In this scenario, you will assume thorough research was conducted by the HSU students on how to combine the cost surfaces into one total cost surface model. Use the Raster Calculator tool to multiply each of the cost surface rasters together. Save the results to your working folder and click OK. You may remove the individual cost surface layers from the Table of Contents when you are done, leaving the total cost raster for the next step.

An image of the Raster Calculator

Your total cost surface model will be comprised of one raster layer with a range of relative cost values between 1 and 10,000. In the next step, you will use this layer to create a cost-distance surface model.

An image of the total cost surface layer
In this image, the ArcGIS software has assigned a random color ramp to the pixel values between 1 and 10,000. Your results should look similar. Be sure there are no values beyond 1 through 10,000.