Connecting existing linear road features with over 10 000 point features or buffers with new roads
I have linear road data (official paved roads) and point data (lat, long) for about 20 000 clearings. I have made buffers around the point locations representative of the size of the clearings. There are roads to these clearings, but no maps for them. I want to extend (connect) the existing major road network to each of these clearings, but there are too many to draw by hand. I have DEM elevation maps, and water features and want to draw the roads as realistically as possible - by avoiding blasting, stream crossings excessive length etc. The road network can have as many connections as necessary, but the number of roads should be minimized and the same road can be used to get to multiple clearings. I am not even sure where to start. I am using ArcMap 9.2... In the end I want to be able to estimate land clearance, road density, etc. Thank - you.
Mapping Center Answer:
This is a job for raster analysis. You will first want to convert your vector road, point, and water features data into raster layers, and use your existing DEM to generate another raster with slope and aspect values. From here you will need to create a series of selections by cell value or weighted analysis model of some kind to generate the new road connections - I'm grossly simplifying what could be an intensive iterative task in getting the parameters correct. You'll need to use the Spatial Analyst tools in the Distance, Neighbourhood, and possibly Hydrology toolboxes. The result should be a selection of least cost paths based on your input weights.
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