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

Skill Drill: Acquire Hydrography Data from the USGS National Map Viewer

To complete the least-cost path analysis, you will also need a layer representing waterbodies. Return to the USGS National Map Viewer. Use the same methods in the previous skill drill to locate the National Hydrography Dataset under the Datasets tab.

From time to time, the National Map Viewer fails to work properly when downloading certain datasets, such as the NHD. Please inform your instructor of any problems so that an alternative solution can be posted to the class. Check the box next to Hydrography (NHD) and Watersheds. Under Product Search Filter, select the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) Best Resolution. Under Data Extent, select HU-4 Subregion. Under File Format select Shapefile. Then click Find Products.

An image of the National Map View Data Selection page
The hydrologic unit covering the Klamath River Watershed Basin is quite large. In this image, the map extent on the right has been zoomed out to view the scope of the basin.

On the Products tab, you will see a list of datasets available for download. To determine which dataset covers the area of interest, you can click on the Footprint link to see the boundary of the dataset. Once you have found a dataset that includes the region of interest, click the Download link. Save the file in your original folder and decompress it.

An image of the National Map Viewer Products page
In this image, the hydrologic unit you are interested in has a boot-like shape to it.

In ArcMap, add the following three shapefiles:

  • NHD Flowline
  • NHD Area
  • NHD Waterbody

Together, these three shapefiles will represent cost factors related to traveling across water. To understand more about how this data was derived, you can read the metadata using the link provided by the USGS National Map Viewer. Use the Project tool to create copies of the data with the NAD 83 UTM Zone 10N spatial reference. Save the new files to your working folder. You will not need to clip the hydrography layers at this time. Instead, you will use another method to limit the geographic extent of the water features later on.

An image of the three NHD layers added to the map.
The NHD data includes many different layers. The ones you are interested in will represent water features as lines or polygons.