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Assignment 11: Suitability and Weighted Overlay Analysis

Biologists in the Great Smoky Mountain State Park need to find suitable areas in the park to relocate Black Bears. Using GIS and the five weighted factors of habitat suitability developed by the biologists we are to create a weighted overlay analysis map of the park showing the Most Favorable, Favorable, and Least Favorable habitats for the bears. This will help aide in the release of captured bears into the most suitable locations.

Analysis Procedures:

Using ArcGIS and the data given by GIS 520 of park area and its habitat features we created a weighted overlay analysis using the criteria specified by the Biologists. To do this we must turn the shape files for vegetation, roads, trails, and streams to Raster datasets using the feature to raster tool in Arc toolbox. Next Euclidean distance tool was used on the roads, trails, and streams Raster data files. Slope was then run on the elevation raster. After this all the subsequent raster files could then be reclassified using the Biologists criteria. A 1 was given to the least favorable values and a 3 was given to the most favorable values. After the rasters were reclassified they could be entered into the Weighted Overlay Analysis tool in Arc toolbox. This would give us a final grid showing the weighted overlay analysis of the 3 types of suitable areas within the Great Smoky Mountain State Park.

Methods: The tool below was created to run the Weighted Analysis on all of the raster files that we were using to categorize the proper habitat for Bears in the Great Smoky Mountain State Park. This tool will run the process from start to finish and give us a layer showing the map of the park with the weighted habitats highlighted.

Reclassify Screen Caps.

Weighted Overlay Screen caps:

Final Map of the Weighted Overlay Analysis

Application & Reflection:

Problem Description:

Using Weighted Overlay Analysis allows people to quickly find areas on of interest on a map. If there are multiple variables that are needed to judge an area then this function speeds up the process tremendously. When using this all I could think about how it was just like running a real estate search on any of the major websites. Input multiple criteria that you value and it narrows down your choices for you. This however can work on anything. Going back to other examples that I have brought up before, this could be used in my job as a logistics tool. If we are sending a truck into a certain area we could do a weighted analysis to show the best places to solicit other customers from by inputting our needs for mileage, quantity needed, and cost of delivery. This could turn a process that takes hours and speed it up into minutes if used properly.
Data Needed:

To use this process as a logistics tool we would need a map of our customers, and map of the areas highways, what product each customer buys and how much product each customer purchases.
Analysis Procedure:

To perform this analysis we need to convert our map of customers to a raster file and then run Euclidean distance from a customer we are going to from other customers in the area. We can then reclass the results based on the cost benefit analysis that says how far away we can go before we start to lose profit. We would also need to turn our road map into a raster and run Euclidean distance to see how far away from a highway each customer is so we can weigh the results as needed. Next we can use the product types and amounts as in the weighted overlay to favor the customers that order the same products as the initial customer so as not to split a tanker or to fill out capacity on a multi-compartment tanker. All of this information can give the output of a process that could take hours in minutes. This could show on a map the logistical advantages of soliciting other orders from customers in a specific area.