I have a table with start and end point data in each row and need to convert them into lines, but I would like something other than a straight segment.
Ideally, I want to connect the points via a segment that is determined by the bathymetry of the area (so along the same bathymetry as the start and end points). I have both raster bathymetry layers and contour shapefiles.
The only way I can think to do this is create a raster layer with the difference in bathymetry from the mean bathymetry of start and end points and create a least-cost path with large differences being very costly.
I wanted to float the idea out there though to see if there are any automated or different ways to do this. Here is a diagram of what I have/want:
The black lines are bathymetry contours, and the red points are examples of my start and end points. The blue line is the straight line segment that is how ArcMap tools would connect the two points.
What I need is a line connecting them that follows the bathymetry contours, i.e. the path with the least amount of change in bathymetry from the start and end points.
After exploring the idea, it is not feasible to simply snap the points to the bathymetry contour shapefile and split the lines, that would change the location of the points too much.