I'd like to calculate least cost paths between fragments using a cost raster I created based on habitat suitability values.

I saw that most people use Linkage Mapper, but I don't have access to ArcGIS. I also saw the gdistance function, but it is based on a DEM and I'd rather use my cost layer.

Is there an open source alternative to Linkage Mapper? Or can it be used without ArcGIS?

closed as too broad by PolyGeo Jan 24 '18 at 10:37

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QGIS (open source) has a new plugin called Least-Cost-Paths Network (open source, GNU GPL v3) (https://github.com/xrubio/LCPNetwork) that will take a set of origin and destination points and calculate the optimal least cost path across a cost surface using Djikstra.

GRASS GIS has r.cost (https://grass.osgeo.org/grass74/manuals/r.cost.html) and other tools that might meet your needs.

Linkage Mapper appears to require ArcGIS 10.0 but works with 9.3 through to 10.4 (https://sites.google.com/a/circuitscape.org/circuitscape/linkagemapper)

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