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?
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.