GIS 5100: Lab 5 -- Visibility Analysis

This lab was all about conducting visibility and line of sight analysis as well as comparing and contrasting between the two.
Part A of the lab consisted of using the Spatial Analyst Extension to conduct viewshed analysis.  This required the viewshed tool, in which we determined which areas can and cannot be seen from potential tower locations. We then explored the difference from this to using the observer points tool to see more detailed information about which summit can be viewed from where.

Part B of the lab used a more detailed visibility analysis from part A where we located areas of Yellowstone National Park that can be seen from the roads.

Part C we examined visibility at the finish line of the Boston Marathon by examining the viewshed from cameras at the site, and then creating two additional cameras for maximum coverage. For this part we used the 3D Analyst Extension and the LAS Dataset toolbar for LiDAR data in which we then created a raster dataset from this LiDAR data.  We then examined the placement of an existing surveillance camera, and set an observer offset as 100 since it was hypothetically on the top of the building and not placed on the ground.  To make this more realistic, the camera turned between 0 and 90 degrees to we set the viewing beginning angle as 0 degrees and the end angle as 90 degrees.
We then placed in two additional cameras, trying to find an optimal location.  Below is a screenshot of my two additional placements and the coverage of each (calculated with the viewshed analysis tool).

The viewshed analysis shows how many cameras can see each specific cell.  The second camera I placed was on the building on the next block north east of the original camera.  This building had a height of just over 90, so I made the offset as 90.  In order for coverage of the finishline segment, I created the start and end angles from 180 - 270 degrees.
The third camera I placed is on the building directly across the street from the original camera.  The height of this building and the offset was just over 85. I created the angles as 60 - 150 degrees.

Finally, in Part D of the lab, we used the 3D analyst extension and toolbar to create line of sights between the summits used in part A.


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