Suitability modeling framework

Available with Spatial Analyst license.

The Suitability Modeler is a dynamic, interactive environment of panes, plots, and maps that you can use to create a suitability model. For an overview of the framework, the issues it addresses, how it does so, and the dynamic nature of the framework, see Introduction to the Suitability Modeler.

A series of panes guide you through the suitability modeling process. The Suitability Modeler pane with the following tabs appears when you open the modeler:

  • Settings—Define the overall model settings. You can specify the name of the suitability model, the range of the suitability scale, and whether to weight the criteria by a multiplier or percent.
  • Suitability—Identify the individual criteria and weight them relative to one another to create the suitability map. Queries can be specified to explore the model input and output. The Transformation pane works in conjunction with the Suitability tab, allowing you to transform the criteria values to the common suitability scale.
  • Locate—Identify the final locations from the suitability map created on the Suitability tab that best meet the subject's spatial requirements. Spatial requirements include the total area and number of regions, their minimum and maximum sizes, and the ideal distances between the regions.
  • Sources—View the criteria sources. You can convert criteria whose sources are local raster datasets to web imagery layers so that the model can be run on servers. The criteria sources can also be changed to other local raster datasets or web imagery layers.
  • Evaluate—Determine the quality of your model by analyzing the interactions of the transformations and weights of the criteria, as well as the resulting suitability and location maps. Refine the premise where the higher the suitability value is considered better by exploring the composition of the weighted transformed criteria values that produce those suitability values.

The Transformation Pane appears when you click the button next to a criterion on the Suitability tab of the Suitability Modeler pane. Use the Transformation Pane and its plots when you are determining the best transformation method to apply to each criterion.

The Evaluate Pane appears when you click the Evaluate tab on the Suitability Modeler pane. Use the Evaluate Pane and its plots and maps to apply various statistics to evaluate your model.

Suitability modeling workflow

For background on the general workflow, see The general suitability modeling workflow and Implement the suitability modeling workflow.

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