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I am using ArcMap.

How do you calculate all the least cost pathways that exists for a region?

I would like the output map to display all routes (and was wondering whether this can be done in one set of operations). I want to determine this by taking into account two things: slope and valley floors.

I have been informed that I need a DEM raster, and distance rasters to valley floors and rivers. I have a river system shapefile (once is in a polygon and the other is in a line format) but I don't know exactly how to create these rasters. As it stands, this is what the DEM raster and the riverways shapefile look like:

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I have followed the tutorials in ArcGIS help 10.1 but I just don't seem to be going anywhere. I am able to create least cost pathways between two points based solely on slope, and I have tried reclassifying via building models but have been unsuccessful in creating images that display meaningful results - I think the biggest issue is inputting or creating distance rasters to valley floors/rivers and combining that with the slope raster.

Can anyone explain in layman's terms how I could create distance rasters to valley floors/rivers from a polygon or line shapefile and how this can be combined with a slope raster to create an output map displaying all existing least cost pathways for a selected study area?

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1 Answer 1

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You can create the distance raster using the Euclidean Distance tool, then you can combine that with your DEM using raster calculator and it looks like you already know the rest

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