Skip To Content

Site suitability analysis

Manually identifying the best place for something is often a cumbersome task. Suitability modeling, or site suitability analysis, is a common approach to facilitate this task, making it easier to solve a variety of problems, such as where to site new housing developments, deploy military troops, or identify potential wildlife habit areas (to name a few).

To determine the suitability of sites, you must rank and score sites based on multiple weighted criteria with the following workflow:

  1. Define the problem and prepare the criteria data.
  2. Transform the input values you've generated to a common suitability scale so the criteria can be compared.
  3. Rank criteria from most suitable to least suitable and combine the rankings to create a suitability map.
  4. Use the suitability map to locate sites.

For suitability analysis workflows, ArcGIS has the Suitability Modeler, raster functions, geoprocessing tools, or ModelBuilder in ArcGIS Pro.

Explore the following resources to learn more about performing suitability analysis in ArcGIS. (Not sure where to start? Look for the star by Esri's most helpful resources.)

To use the geoprocessing tools and raster functions required for suitability modeling in ArcGIS Pro, you need ArcGIS Image Analyst or ArcGIS Spatial Analyst; you will need ArcGIS Spatial Analyst to use the Suitability Modeler. You can also run your analysis using ArcGIS Enterprise. You may also want to use ArcGIS Image Server to host and share dynamic image services that use suitability analysis models.

ArcGIS help

Review the following links on reference materials for ArcGIS products:

ArcGIS blogs, articles, story maps, and technical papers

Review the following supplemental guidance about concepts, software functionality, and workflows:


Review the following Esri-produced videos that clarify and demonstrate concepts, software functionality, and workflows:

Training and tutorials

Review the following guided lessons and tutorials based on real-world problems and key ArcGIS skills:

ArcGIS Solutions

Industry-specific configurations for ArcGIS:

  • Try out a cross country mobility template designed for the defense industry to estimate off-road speed for vehicles. This solution relies on suitability analysis performed with geoprocessing tools.

Esri Community

Use the online imagery community to connect, collaborate, and share experiences:

* Esri's top picks

Related topics