I've just posted a question to StackOverflow about the best way to go about finding the best path on the raster below (where whiter pixels are 'better'), but have realised that it might actually be very easy to solve using some inbuilt GIS functions. To clarify, I'm trying to choose the best path down each of the lines shown in the image, staying on the bright white pixels as much as possible.
I have a feeling that the idea of Cost Surfaces and Cost Paths might help me with this, but I've had a play in ArcGIS and can't seem to get anything sensible out of it. Is this the right approach to take within a GIS? If not, are there some other inbuilt functions in a GIS that can do this kind of thing?