I am looking to create movement paths of fish based on observed locations.
Since I am looking at movements of fish within rivers and lakes, simply connecting the points to form a polyline will not work as many of the paths would be over land. I need some way to restrict the movement paths to within the water boundaries.
I am not a programmer and rely on the tools in the Arc toolbox to perform the operations. A new column in the FAT with distance between sequential points would also be useful.
I am using ArcMap 10. Does anyone have an suggestions as to how to generate the movement paths?
Thanks so much for the assistance, many of the suggestions look promising. A bit more information on the data; the majority of the locations are collected from remote receivers which tend to generate a lot of observations (one of my projects has over 3 million detections and growing, each detection record includea ID, datetime, lat and long). If a fish stays within the detection range of a receiver it is detected roughly once every two minutes which results in a lot of observations (points), so my first step is to average the lat and long over a time period in this case 1 day. Averaging the detections in the lake habitat typically works well, but doing so in the river portions can result in detections outside the river/lake boundary. So the first thing I need to do is "snap" the averaged locations into the River/Lake Boundary and then I would like to create a movement path that is restricted to within the river/lake boundary, ideally this path would include distance for each line segment. My rivers are polylines and the lakes are polygons, but I can convert the rivers to polygons if necessary. Alternatively, I could use the raw unaveraged data and all my detections would be in the boundary, although creating movement paths restricted to within the boundary is still problematic, but this would result in a lot of data, maybe too much for ARC?
The attached image shows the daily average positions for two different fish.