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I have multiple points in a bay and I need to figure out the distance of each point to the nearest inlet, without going over land. I have been told to use the Cost Path or the Cost Distance tool but am very lost. Would my 'input raster' be the inlet or the other points? I am guessing the input cost raster would be a raster of the body of water? Do I need to be using the model builder for this tool, or use the cost path tool first?

  • Check out this process. It's pretty much what you are looking for. See my comment at the bottom about making it easier to work with. gis.stackexchange.com/questions/190640/… – brink Jan 28 at 19:55
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The below workflow will work (assuming I have understood your requirements):

  • Run Cost Distance

    • Source = inlets (create a raster or point feature class of just the inlets, everything else NoData).
    • Cost = 1 for water, NoData for land.
  • Use Extract Values to Points to get the least cost distance from each of your points to the nearest inlet.

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