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Need to choose the correct tool

Question asked by sthomps2 on Oct 21, 2013
Latest reply on Oct 22, 2013 by sthomps2

I have a dataset where I have a polyline representing a major scenic highway. I have digitized points along this highway that represent scenic overlooks/vistas. More so, I have polygon layer (also available in raster format) that represents dead trees affected by an invasive insect surrounding the highway. I ultimately am looking for a tool where I can input the points representing the scenic overlooks and ask the program "which of these points are closest and have the greatest density of dead trees from them?". I'd basically like to be able to show which scenic overlooks are most affected by proximity and density of the dead trees. Should I be using zonal tools (in spatial analyst)? I'm sure I could figure a way to do it in a lengthy time consuming multi-step process but I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a quicker workflow and which tools would be most effective in this analysis.
Thank you,