# Kernel vs Point Density

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02-23-2015 02:32 PM
New Contributor III

Hi,

Can someone give me an example each where these two tools would be appropriate to use. I kind of understood what each of them does but can't seem to figure out examples where one would be more appropriate than the other. Both seem to show density just fine.

Thanks!

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Accepted Solutions
Esri Esteemed Contributor

It really depends on what you want to analyze to determine which tool and what settings suit your needs.

Below a visual comparison of using the same set of point in point density and kernel density with and without population (size of the blue points).

The Kernel density has a much larger smoothing effect than the point density.

7 Replies
MVP Emeritus
Esri Esteemed Contributor

It really depends on what you want to analyze to determine which tool and what settings suit your needs.

Below a visual comparison of using the same set of point in point density and kernel density with and without population (size of the blue points).

The Kernel density has a much larger smoothing effect than the point density.

MVP Emeritus

Thanks Xander...perhaps I should be less rhetorical in my responses

New Contributor III

Thanks. I guess most people look at the smoothing effect and don't think too much about the differences and just take Kernel as it gives better visual display. I guess thats what I'm gonna do.

Esri Esteemed Contributor

Remember that it is not just a visualization tool, it is an analysis tool. Depending on your specific needs you should choose the tool. Question: what information do you have as input and what are you trying to achieve?

The difference between both methods, that is most clear, is that the effect of 1 point is the same for the entire search radius in the point density analysis and while for the Kernel density the effect of a point reduces further away from the point.

New Contributor III

As a student from a non-statistical Background - No they did not ! Athough I can understand what the tools do differently, still I can't think of example and say this one or that one would really be appropriate.

New Contributor

Hi, I am trying to use the point density tool. I understand that it shows the number of characters within a specified radius from an arbitrary point. My map has data values in cordinates (long and latitude) in degrees hence my map units is in degrees. I changed it to Km to find the number of datasets within 1 km radius but I cannot interpret the heatmap results. I need help please.