I use ArcGIS 10.1. I have a shapefile with sites and another with the rivers of the area.

I would like to calculate the density of the sites related to the river vicinity. Is it possible? Which type of tool could I use?

  • 1
    Can you clarify what you mean by density and river vicinity? Are you looking for an answer of N sites per Area of River? – Dylan Warburg Sep 13 '18 at 17:02
  • yes, I would like to calculate how many sites are close to the rivers of an area. The sites, as the rivers, are spread in the area, so not concentrated in a small portion. – Roberto Sep 16 '18 at 17:20

There are several ways to do this.

The simplest would be to use the Spatial Join tool to join your sites shapefile to your rivers shapefile. Specify the Join Operation as One to Many, the Match Option to CLOSEST and specify a Search Radius and Distance Field Name. This Distance Field Name will use whatever unit is set as the map unit in your data frame.

This tool will return a shapefile that contains every site within your Search Radius of a river, with a Distance column that specifies how close. With this result, you can query or symbolize your sites based on their distance from the nearest river.

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  • Many thanks Dylan for useful replay and sorry for the delay. Another question, if I wanted the use the Kernel Density Estimation, could I use the shapefile generated by the Spatial Join tool or not? Always in order to obtain a raster in which it is possibile to see the spatial relationship between sites and rivers. Thanks – Roberto Sep 21 '18 at 11:43
  • I have one suggestion (A) and a question (B). (A) another viable way would be to produce a (Euclidean) distance raster based on the rivers, and then extracting the distance values to the site points. You would have a "distance" attribute appended to the sites layer that you can use for further analysis/visualization. (B) how do conceptualize the "closeness" to the rivers? You will have a number of distance values. How will you locate a threshold in order to say how much close a site must be to be "close" to a river? Do you want to "test" if there is a spatial relation between sites and rivers? – NewAtGis Jun 5 at 21:32

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