How long can one expect a viewshed analysis to run?

12-12-2012 06:46 AM
New Contributor II
How long can one expect a viewshed analysis to run in ArcGIS with the following parameters:

Analysis at each of 3,800 points with results added to produce a single surface result. Set up with "viewshed" tool.

Points are arrayed along a linear feature (a hiking trail) totaling approxmately 610 km (381 miles). Trail loops to form a rough oval shape.

Points spaced approximately 160 m (0.1 mile) apart.

An 8 km (5 mile) analysis extent is used for each point.

10m DEM in mountainous setting.

The analysis is running on a server (32gb RAM, 64 bit, Arc v10.1, plenty of drive space). It has been running for nearly 120 hours already.
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2 Replies
Esri Contributor
It could take a very long time with that many points. Please let it run - hopefully it will finish the job. Let us know if the tool fails.

You could probably speed up the process by controlling the extent or setting the limit for your observer points (e.g. RADIUS2) if it is applicable for your analysis.

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Regular Contributor III
Is it that you want to know the viewshed of each point individually, or the entire trail?

If it's the latter, just use the trail polyline layer as the input to the Viewshed tool.

If it's the former, you would have to run the viewshed tool in a loop, otherwise the viewsheds of all the points will overlap with each other and not give you the actual viewshed of each individual point, but rather a sort of mishmash of all the point viewsheds.
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