Does anyone have any advice or has anyone experienced any limitations in ArcGIS software when trying to use model builder for any type of environmental phenomenon? I know that Vensim and Stella can be used with more detail for just about anything when modeling an environmental phenomenon. What kind of limitations might there be with ArcGIS software?

closed as too broad by Mapperz Feb 5 '14 at 17:12

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    Your question is way too broad, what type of "environmental phenomenon" are you talking about? What are venism and stella? – Dan C Feb 5 '14 at 16:23
  • Any type of modeling that includes an effect to the environment. – Dave Feb 5 '14 at 16:27
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    I think what Dan C meant was you need to give us more details as to what you are looking for in order for us to give a good answer. Do you mean is ArcGIS realistically too slow to make running XYZ modeling processes possible using near real-time data? Do you mean does ArcGIS have tools to perform XYZ analysis (Ex: are there tools to model changes to river channels based on area elevation changes effecting water flow), etc... We need some specifics or some direction where to go with this question. – John Feb 5 '14 at 16:32
  • Basically, I was just asking if anyone has experienced any limitations with model builder. That is all. – Dave Feb 5 '14 at 16:33

I do not know what type of environmental monitoring you are doing. However, most of the work I do in that field is raster-based, which brings up a host of issues when ArcGIS is limited to ModelBuilder:

  1. There is poor control of raster bit depth.
  2. There is limited string manipulation capabilities, which is important for renaming/redefining files, paths, and workspaces.
  3. Many of the ArcGIS raster-based analysis tools are black boxes (i.e. you just have to trust that they have the algorithm correct and implemented properly).
  4. There is no real support for parallel processing for large scale projects.

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