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Modeling Spatial Problems PDF

# Modeling Spatial Problems PDF

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03/18/2014

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IN THIS CHAPTER
55
Modeling spatial problems
\u2022 Modeling spatial problems
\u2022 A conceptual model for solving
spatial problems
\u2022 Using the conceptual model to
create a suitability map
Spatial Analyst can help you perform useful analysis, but it cannot solve

problems by itself. To get the results you are hoping for, you have to ask the right questions and provide the right information. This chapter will introduce you to the concept of spatial modeling to help you recognize the conceptual steps involved in performing spatial analysis.

This chapter will explain:
\u0095 Modeling spatial problems.
\u0095 The conceptual modeling process:
\u0095 Stating the problem
\u0095 Breaking the problem down
\u0095 Exploring input datasets
\u0095 Performing analysis
\u0095 Verifying the model\u0092s result
\u0095 Implementing the result

\u0095 Following the conceptual modeling process to build a suitability model. The suitability model from Exercise 2 of the quick-start tutorial, \u0091Finding a site for a new school in Stowe, Vermont, USA\u0092, will be broken down

conceptually to explain each of the modeling steps.
5 6
US IN G AR C G IS SP A T IA L AN A LY S T
M o d e lin g s p a tia l p r o b le m s

In general term s, a m odel is a representation of reality. D ue to the in h e re n t c o m p le x ity o f th e w o rld a n d th e in te ra c tio n s in it, m o d e ls a re c re a te d a s a s im p lifie d , m a n a g e a b le v ie w o f re a lity. M o d e ls

help you understand, describe, or predict how things w ork in the
real w orld. T here are tw o m ain types of m odels: those that

represent the objects in the landscape (representation m odels) a n d th o s e th a t a tte m p t to s im u la te p ro c e s s e s in th e la n d s c a p e (process m odels).

R e p re s e n ta tio n m o d e ls
R e p re s e n ta tio n m o d e ls try to d e s c rib e th e o b je c ts in a la n d s c a p e
such as buildings, stream s, or forest. T he w ay representation
m odels are created in a G IS is through a set of data layers. F or
S p a tia l A n a ly s t, th e s e d a ta la y e rs w ill b e e ith e r ra s te r o r fe a tu re
data. R aster layers are represented by a rectangular m esh or grid,
and each location in each layer is represented by a grid cell,
w hich has a value. C ells from various layers stack on top of each
o th e r, d e s c rib in g m a n y a ttrib u te s o f e a c h lo c a tio n .
T h e re p re s e n ta tio n m o d e l a tte m p ts to c a p tu re th e s p a tia l

re la tio n s h ip s w ith in a n o b je c t (th e s h a p e o f a b u ild in g ) a n d
b e tw e e n th e o th e r o b je c ts in th e la n d s c a p e (th e d is trib u tio n o f
b u ild in g s ). A lo n g w ith e s ta b lis h in g th e s p a tia l re la tio n s h ip s , th e

G IS re p re s e n ta tio n m o d e l is a ls o a b le to m o d e l th e a ttrib u te s o f
th e o b je c ts (w h o o w n s e a c h b u ild in g ). R e p re s e n ta tio n m o d e ls a re
som etim es referred to as data m odels and are considered
descriptive m odels.
P ro c e s s m o d e ls
P ro c e s s m o d e ls a tte m p t to d e s c rib e th e in te ra c tio n o f th e o b je c ts
th a t a re m o d e le d in th e re p re s e n ta tio n m o d e l. T h e re la tio n s h ip s
are m odeled using spatial analysis tools. Since there are m any
d iffe re n t ty p e s o f in te ra c tio n s b e tw e e n o b je c ts , A rc G IS a n d
S p a tia l A n a ly s t p ro v id e a la rg e s u ite o f to o ls to d e s c rib e
interactions. P rocess m odeling is som etim es referred to as

cartographic m odeling. Process m odels can be used to describe processes, but they are often used to predict w hat w ill happen if som e action occurs.

Each Spatial A nalyst operation and function can be considered a process m odel. S om e process m odels are sim ple, w hile others are m o re c o m p le x . E v e n m o re c o m p le x ity c a n b e a d d e d b y in c lu d in g lo g ic , c o m b in in g m u ltip le p ro c e s s m o d e ls , a n d u s in g th e S p a tia l A nalyst object m odel and M icrosoft

\u00ae
V isual B asic
\u00ae
.
MO D E L IN G S P A T IA L P R O B L E M S
5 7
O n e o f th e m o s t b a s ic S p a tia l A n a ly s t o p e ra tio n s is a d d in g tw o
rasters together:
C o m p le x ity c a n b e a d d e d th ro u g h lo g ic :
A d d itio n a l c o m p le x ity is a d d e d th ro u g h s p e c ia liz e d fu n c tio n s :
A nd even m ore com plexity is added by com bining several
fu n c tio n s a n d lo g ic :
A process m odel should be as sim ple as possible to capture the
necessary reality to solve your problem . You m ay just need a
s in g le o p e ra tio n o r fu n c tio n , b u t s o m e tim e s h u n d re d s o f
operations and functions m ay be necessary.
Types of process m odels
T here are m any types of process m odels to solve a w ide variety
of problem s. Som e include:
\u0095
S u ita b ility m o d e lin g : M o s t s p a tia l m o d e ls in v o lv e fin d in g
o p tim u m lo c a tio n s , s u c h a s fin d in g th e b e s t lo c a tio n to b u ild a
n e w s c h o o l, la n d fill, o r re s e ttle m e n t s ite .
\u0095
D is ta n c e m o d e lin g : W h a t is th e flig h t d is ta n c e fro m L o s
A ngeles to San Francisco?
\u0095
H y d r o lo g ic m o d e lin g : W h ere w ill th e w a ter flo w to ?
\u0095
S u r fa c e m o d e lin g : W h a t is th e p o llu tio n le v e l fo r v a rio u s
lo c a tio n s in a c o u n ty ?
A set of conceptual steps can be used to help you build a m odel.
T h e re m a in d e r o f th is c h a p te r e x p la in s th e s e s te p s .