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Defensibility of Terrain Tool

03-29-2022 12:10 PM
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My name is Logan Bolan. I am a rising senior at Utah State University studying Geography and GIS, and a member of AAG's military geography specialty group.

I'm working on one of my final projects here:

I am trying to quantitatively prove that the Rocky Mountains are the most defensible piece of military terrain in the United States, which is why my ancestors picked this location to settle. Basically I am trying to make a tool or process that allows me  to take a DEM or hillshade, find the slope of an entire area in relation to a specific defensible point. I'm trying to weight mountains, narrow passes, canyons, and great stretches of arid plains (I guess swamps can count well too) as more defensible than say a river, flat well watered plain, etc. Obviously the skillful use of terrain matters a lot more than having great defensive terrain. I'm trying to create a cartographic tool like the one below, but using the Defense and Intelligence tools to find suitability for defensive purposes, like my cartographic model below.


This tool seems perfect, but it has been made defunct. How can I use the current tools to make this possible? Any suggestions for my algorithm will be appreciated.



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