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I have a DEM of an entire state and I would like to do a viewshed analysis. But instead of me using existing points to determine the viewshed, I would like to find all points where the entire state would be covered by a viewshed.

So for example, I want to find suitable locations for antenna placements. Instead of me just guessing trying to figure out which location would give me the best results, I would like the GIS to optimally find points where the entire state would be covered with antenna coverage.

I have access to all tools/extensions in ArcMap/ArcGIS Pro.

Is doing something like this possible?

  • I cant really answer this, but thought I would comment. Viewshed and Observer Point Analysis require a point dataset input. This is used to determine the height from which the analysis is undertaken. A starting point for your assessment would be to potentially identify the high points / ridge lines in your study area (how large is it). then use these areas to initiate the investigation into suitable sites and start narrowing down the criteria. – Keagan Allan Jul 15 at 0:14
  • Yeah I know it would require a point dataset. I was just thinking of something that would generate the point dataset for me. Like find the fewest number of points it would take to get 100% “viewability.” I imagine doing something like that would be pretty computationally expensive though. – GISGUY52738 Jul 15 at 3:28
  • There isn't an "out the box" solution in ArcMap. I am not sure how big your state is, and how large your raster DEM is. but an option would be to create a fishnet over the study area. Run the "Add Surface Information" Tool using the "Z_MAX" option. Then rank these maximum elevation values or classify them into zones and use that to stat ID'ing the initial areas for investigation of the viewshed. There is a lot more that gos into the viewshed and visibility (aspect, height, location etc)...this could at least be a start. – Keagan Allan Jul 15 at 22:08

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