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I want to perform interpolation using cost distances rather than euclidean distances similar to Greenberg et al. (2011). In that paper they use r.cost in GRASS to compute cost distances for each prediction location. Unfortunately I am more familiar with ArcGIS than GRASS. Can I use the diffusion/kernel interpolation with cost surfaces in ArcGIS rather than GRASS/r.cost? Would I get equivalent results?

Greenberg, J.A., C. Rueda, E.L. Hestir, M.J. Santos and S.L. Ustin. 2011. Least cost distance analysis for spatial interpolation. Computers & Geosciences 37:272-276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.cageo.2010.05.012

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  • I'm not familiar with that paper and its algorithm, but many years ago I used Spatial Analyst's CostDistance to perform non-Euclidean interpolations (and non-Euclidean kernel density calculations). So you definitely can do the work in ArcGIS. Whether you get "equivalent" results in the sense of exactly the same values given the same inputs will depend on minor implementation details, because there are multiple valid ways to estimate costs of movement across a grid.
    – whuber
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 17:04
  • With no Answers offered in over a year, and some useful advice having already been provided as a Comment, would you be able to either write up an Answer, or edit your Question to revise it in line with your subsequent learnings, please?
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 23:28

2 Answers 2

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I asked the original question but I lost my login credentials. Let me give an update.

I worked out how to do these non-Euclidean interpolations in ArcGIS but they took a long time to process (many hours). I just recently created an R package (ipdw) that seems to produce equivalent output ~4x faster.

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  • Were you able to get any results with GRASS/r.cost?
    – Ezra Boyd
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 16:28
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As @whuber answered in a Comment, he:

used Spatial Analyst's CostDistance to perform non-Euclidean interpolations (and non-Euclidean kernel density calculations). So you definitely can do the work in ArcGIS. Whether you get "equivalent" results in the sense of exactly the same values given the same inputs will depend on minor implementation details, because there are multiple valid ways to estimate costs of movement across a grid.

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