I'm working on a project in which I'd like to calculate the distance from specific locations within a city (points) to the nearest body of water (polygons) following the path of the wind (direction).

I am using ArcMap 10.5 Desktop and the only related solution I can find is the Near tool in the Proximity toolset.

However, while this tool can output the direction of the nearest feature, it does not allow you to specify the direction in which you would like to calculate distance.

Does anyone know of a tool or workaround that I could use to do this?

  • Create a line segment starting at the point going in the required direction that is long enough to hit any water polygons in your polygon layer, then do intersections and find the nearest... Not sure how easy each of those steps is in either GIS. Is the direction a constant for each point or does the wind direction vary by point? I could probably do it in Python for QGIS (or in R....). There may already be a plugin... – Spacedman Jun 21 at 16:23
  • The wind direction is the same for each point. – Grace Jun 21 at 17:24
  • If you wish to ask also about QGIS then please do that in a separate question. – PolyGeo Jun 21 at 21:38

If you have an 'Advanced' license of ArcMap you can use the 'Generate Near Table tool' and select the Angle option, from the output table you can then use the 'Select by Attribute tool' to select the angle representing the direction.

  • N = 0
  • NE = 0.1-89.9
  • E = 90
  • SE = 90.1 - 179.9
  • S = 180
  • SW = 180.1 - 269.9
  • W = 270
  • NW = 270.1 - 359.9

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