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calculate orientation of lines in respect to sun azimuth

Question asked by joriscoolen on Jan 25, 2018
Latest reply on Feb 20, 2018 by joriscoolen

I have a dataset that consists of single segment lines, for which I would like to calculate the orientation in respect to the sun at a certain date and time. The lines represent transects that were surveyed in the field and the attribute table contains a date and time stamp for each surveyed transect. I would like to reconstruct the direction of each line with respect to the sun, i.e. whether the surveyor was facing the sun or whether the sun was shining from behind or the side at the time of the survey.


So far, I have only found one possible way to calculate this in ArcGIS, using the sun shadow volume in 3D-analyst. However, this tool only seems to calculate the sun direction for one location at a time. Although it can be used to model the shadow for one feature across a time series, the reverse (model the shadow for multiple points at one specific moment, ideally using the time stamps from the attribute table) is not possible. Does anyone know how to do this? Unfortunately, I have no experience in scripting yet...