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What is the workflow for creating a Viewshed for a certain distance??

Question asked by peterlen on Apr 15, 2015
Latest reply on Apr 15, 2015 by GUpchurch-esristaff



I am using ArcGIS 10.2.  I have a need to run the Viewshed toolbox tool on an elevation raster based on a single observation point AND only have the viewshed for the specified distance (ex: 2 kilometers from the observation point).  I initially though that the Viewshed tool would have a distance parameter but it doesn't.  I saythat because I initially  came across an Esri Viewshed example at Geoprocessing - Viewshed | ArcGIS API for JavaScript. This is the client side that calls a GP Service.  It sends a distance down to be used by the tool that the GP Service calls.  After finding that the Viewshed tool itself does not take such a parameter, I figured that there must be some workflow to accomplish the task which would combine the Viewshed tool with something like buffer/clip operations .  In my tests, I was able to do the following:


1) Create  2 kilometer BUFFER using my observation point as input

2) Create a Viewshed raster by using the elevation raster and my observation point

3) Use the Data Management Clip tool  to use the output from #2 with the buffer from #1



That got me most of the way but the Data Management Clip only seems to clip based on a rectangle, so it created the smallest rectangle off of my circular buffer. I could not use the Analysis Clip tool because that did not accept a raster input.


So, my question is.... what is the proper workflow to do a Viewshed that is based on a designated distance??  My process above got me only so far because my clipped result was not a circular clip like I wanted.  The rectangle clip I got included some areas outside of the distance of the buffer because it had to create a rectangular clip.


Any thoughts?


Thanks - Peter