Show Navigation | Hide Navigation
You are here:
Extensions > Spatial Analyst > Analysis concepts > Surface analysis

Surface analysis sample applications

Release 9.3
Last modified January 13, 2012
E-mail This Topic Printable Version Give Us Feedback

Print all topics in : "Surface analysis"

Related Topics

Note: This topic was updated for 9.3.1.

The following are sample applications for surface analysis tools. These samples are only a few of the many possibilities.

Tool Use

Contours can be useful for finding areas of the same value. You may be interested in obtaining elevation values for specific locations and examining the overall gradation of the land.

You may want to know the variations in the slope of the landscape because you want to find the areas most at risk of landslide based on the angle of steepness in an area (steeper slopes being those most at risk).

You may be a farmer who is interested in locating a field in an area with a southerly aspect.

You can create hillshade for both graphical and analytical purposes. Graphically, a hillshade can provide an attractive and realistic backdrop, showing how other layers are distributed in relation to the terrain relief.
From an analytical point of view, you can analyze how the landscape is illuminated at various times of the day by lowering and raising the sun angle.

Calculating viewshed is useful when you want to know how visible objects will be. For instance, you might want to find the location with the most expansive view in an area because you want to know the best location for an observation tower or scenic overlook.
You could also display a hillshade underneath the result from the Viewshed tool (displayed transparently).

Calculating cut/fill is useful when you want to know the areas and volumes of change between two surfaces by the removal and addition of material.
You may be levelling a site for a building construction and wish to determine the volume of material that needs to be excavated and dumped. Another use is to identify areas of sediment erosion and deposition in a river valley.

Please visit the Feedback page to comment or give suggestions on ArcGIS Desktop Help.
Copyright © Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.