# minimum distance from the shore (how to retrieve the “shore vertices”)

I am student of Statistics, this is my first time using GIS., I am sorry for the stupidity of the question but I browsed online and could not find a satisfactory answer.

I have some spatial data in the format (lat, long, y). I have noticed that the sea proximity influences the statistics y, Is it possible (and if it is how can you do it) to interpolate the coast and then calculate a minimum distance between the polyline interpolating it and the measurement point?

I can do the interpolation on R if it is complicated on GIS, but how can I retrieve the data of the "vertices" of the shore? I understand I have to use polygons, but how does that work do I have to do it manually or is there an automatic way?

Please do not say to read the guides, I have read quite enough and I am clearly missing something.

I have downloaded GRASS GIS and have an ArcGIS online account. My data about the Finland coast come from here. country: Finland, subject: Administrative Areas.

Thanks

Irene

• Not a GRASS user myself but I would try this specifically: v.distance from=points to=coast upload=dist column=dist – eseglem Aug 3 '13 at 13:42
• I think GRASS will be a better bet than ArcGIS Online (in ArcGIS for Desktop it would have been easy) so I have tagged your question accordingly. – PolyGeo Aug 4 '13 at 1:09
• I installed the ArcGIS Desktop Free Trial, so go along with the solution. Please enter in details. Thank you again. – Irene Aug 4 '13 at 12:07
• @eseglem solution of Near would be my first choice (+1) using ArcGIS for Desktop but if you really need to access the coordinates of vertices then ArcPy (part of ArcGIS for Desktop) offers the means to do this. – PolyGeo Aug 5 '13 at 1:14