Are there any tools, plugins or methods in QGIS which allows for an analysis of the best path between two points using least cost path method? As shown below ArcGIS has several distance tools.

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  • 1
    You might look at the tools under Raster > Analysis to see if any meet your needs. For example Euclidean Distance is covered at this question (it's under Proximity). For more complex operations you'll probably have to get into GRASS though you can do some of that through/within QGIS. Note the tools you picture are for raster based analysis. If you're looking for vector based, you'll be needing a network and network analysis tools (such as pgrouting) which are quite different.
    – Chris W
    Mar 27, 2015 at 19:15
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    If you want to use the open source GIS Whitebox GAT (for which I am the developer), you will find the Cost Allocation, Cost Accumulation, and Cost Pathway tools will likely do what it is that you need. They are found under the GIS Tools => Cost-Distance Analysis toolbox. Euclidean Distance and Allocation tools are in the Distance Toolbox. Whitebox can be downloaded here: uoguelph.ca/~hydrogeo/Whitebox/download.shtml Mar 28, 2015 at 10:25

2 Answers 2


There are number of tools from GRASS and SAGA which allows for cost analysis which you can access from the Processing Toolbox:

Cost analysis

  • Hi. I am trying to run in QGIS a similar tool to Cost Distance from ArcGIS. I tried the GRASS and SAGA possibilities. However, the result have a very different interval of values, when compared with ArcGIS. Can you help me? Mar 9, 2023 at 19:31

If you want to compare vector-paths the "Road Graph Plugin" is working fine. If this is interessting for you dont forget to use the "Topology Checker" before analysing the data.

  • I would add that this may take you down the path of running pgrouting for PostGIS - it's the way I ended up going to solve this problem.
    – ChrisHamby
    Apr 1, 2015 at 13:40

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