I want to find the most visible point within an area.. I don't have an observer point, I want to find it.

based on the highest points, I've created scenarios and compare.. However there might be an automatic way of doing it?

I have access to ArcGIS desktop (spatial analyst), QGIS or Global mapper.. the software package doesn't really matter.. I just want to know if is there something already there.

  • You might consider contouring the surface, then extracting the highest values and deriving their centers.
    – GISI
    Feb 16, 2016 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


The most visible point... From where? From everywhere? How big is the area? What I suggest is creating a grid of regularly spaced points and using each one of those as observer points.

  1. I usually use Geospatial Modelling Environment to create regular points within a polygon. It's free to download and open source. Here's the command to do so.

  2. Run a viewshed analysis from each one which will give you a raster with either a 1 (visible) or a 0 (not visible).

  3. You can then add all of the rasters together into one final result. Here's a post on how to do this.

  4. The pixels with the highest value is the most visible spot. You can use cell statistics to determine this.

  • Expensive exersise though. For real terrain I'd limit it to ridges, e.g. points with 0 flow accumulation at least
    – FelixIP
    Feb 17, 2016 at 5:42
  • Assuming you've run a flow accumulation first...
    – Fezter
    Feb 17, 2016 at 5:43
  • Yes. Flow accumulation first. Small price to pay for making task feasible. I'd add focal statistics (max) to it and consider only points equal to it
    – FelixIP
    Feb 17, 2016 at 5:48
  • You should add that as an answer. I'd upvote it...
    – Fezter
    Feb 17, 2016 at 5:50
  • I was on the same path as you, it's only fair if your update yours
    – FelixIP
    Feb 17, 2016 at 5:51

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