Processing set intervals in a river?

Discussion created by atung on May 30, 2014
Latest reply on May 30, 2014 by rfairhur24
Hello Geoprocessing community!

I apologize if this isn't the correct subforum for this. I'm new to ArcGIS, still trying to get through that steep learning curve. Here's my scenario:

I currently have thousands of water quality data taken along a river, and I have the GPS coordinates of where each data point was taken along the river. There's a fixed route that the sampling boat was supposed to take, and samples were taken once a month for a few months.

The objective of my work is to use GPS coordinates to match data with eachother so I could see how water quality changes throughout the river over time. At first, I found the "cumulative distances" of my data using various equations and plugging them into Excel. However, I soon realized that the "cumulative distance" for one month didn't match up to the next month, and the month after. That's because the actual path that the boat traveled to the sampling sites are never identical. With that said, I can't compare the data from, say, 23 km of travel in May to the data from 23 km of travel in October, because they could be in completely different locations.

With that said, I'm wondering if I can use ArcGIS to somehow average out of my data in every 0.02 km distance along the river. This way, distance isn't measured by the path the boat took, but is using the river itself as the ruler instead.

I hope I've given enough to work with--- please let me know if there's anything I can clarify to make this more clear!

ArcGIS Noob