What is the best practices for deriving distance from features?

04-30-2020 05:24 AM
New Contributor

Hi all,

I need to run new species distribution models that use ASCII layers of elevation, climate variables, and distances from important features using point data that is specific for each unique species.

In order to do this, I need to create a new set of polygons that are the distance from features.

Then these need to be transformed to ASCII layers.  It seemed not to be an issue with the older legacy ArcGis (ArcMap (9.X and 10.1X).

For distance to feature data I have shp files that are point data (known cave entrances), line features (rivers) and polygons (water bodies).  I need to create new shp files (or rasters?) that are meters from caves in 500 m increments from 0 to 5000 m, distances from rivers 0 m - 5000 m,  and same for water bodies.  I may need to expand this from 0 - 10,000 m.

I have tried to run the buffer tools to derive a new shp file for cave distances which works. However, Arc10.8 and Arc Pro crash when I try to do the same with the river distances and water bodies.

I have also tried using the Euclidean distance tool but that also does not seem to provide valid shp files.

Any suggestions?

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MVP Emeritus

Euclidean distance is best suited to data that are projected and not in a geographic coordinate system (are yours in decimal degrees? or are you using the geodesic method?)

In Pro, the legacy tools have been replaced with new functions.  For example

Distance Accumulation—Help | Documentation 

some of these tools may permit finer control over you inputs and desired outputs.