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What is ModelBuilder?

ModelBuilder is a visual programming language for building geoprocessing workflows. Geoprocessing models automate and document your spatial analysis and data management processes. You create and modify geoprocessing models in ModelBuilder, where a model is represented as a diagram that chains together sequences of processes and geoprocessing tools, using the output of one process as the input to another process.

ModelBuilder in ArcGIS Pro allows you to

  • Build a model by adding geoprocessing tools, map layers, datasets, and other data types, and connecting them to a process.
  • Iteratively process every feature class, raster, file, or table in a workspace.
  • Visualize your workflow sequence as an easy-to-understand diagram.
  • Run a model step-by-step, up to a selected step, or run the entire model.
  • Make your model into a geoprocessing tool that can be shared with others or can be used in Python scripting and other models.


This geoprocessing model is used by a conservation organization to identify potential habitat for an indigenous bird species based on vegetation type, distance from major roads, climate, slope, and elevation.

ModelBuilder example
The model runs the following tools in sequence:
  1. Select Layer By Attribute—Select the correct vegetation type from a Vegetation map layer.
  2. Buffer—Create areas within a distance of 1,500 feet around major roads.
  3. Erase—Erase the buffer areas from the selected vegetation areas.
  4. Intersect—Overlay the output of the Erase tool with other map layers, including slope, elevation, and climate. This identifies the areas that meet all criteria.

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  1. Example