Site Selection


Site Selection in Geographic Information System (GIS) pertains to the process of assessing, analyzing, and choosing an optimal location for a facility or operation based on a diverse array of spatial data. This process is necessary across various industries - from environmental conservation, to urban planning, and business expansion.

What is Site Selection?

The process of Site Selection is fundamentally a spatial problem. The goal is to find the most suitable location given a set of criteria such as proximity to resources, target markets, accessibility, environmental considerations, economic indicators, and even personal preferences.

GIS is particularly adept at performing Site Selection analysis as it has capacity to store, manage, analyze, and visualize large volumes of spatial data, with attributes from a wide range of sources. The decision-maker can then assess potential sites based on these various factors and their relative importance. The process usually involves the use of decision-making models, spatial statistics, and visualization tools in a GIS environment.

Site Selection is essential in a broad range of sectors such as real estate, networking, environment, energy, logistics, city planning, tourism and many others to decide on the best locations for various activities. It is also used in strategic planning for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.


What tools are used in Site Selection?

The tools used in Site Selection analysis depends on the GIS software being used, but typically, it involves overlay analysis, buffers, suitability analysis, least-cost path calculation and spatial statistics. Common GIS software used for Site Selection includes ESRI’s ArcGIS, QGIS, and Grass GIS among others.

What factors are typically considered in Site Selection?

The factors considered in Site Selection typically depend on the objective of the project but may include, among other things, proximity to resources or target markets, physical and environmental characteristics of the site, costs associated with the site, socio-political factors, and any other factor that could affect the viability of the facility or operation being planned.

Why is GIS particularly suited to Site Selection?

GIS is suited to Site Selection because it can efficiently handle large amounts of spatial data from diverse sources. It provides powerful analytical tools to interpret these data, and visualize the result, which aids in decision-making. It also allows users to weigh different factors according to their importance, and to model different scenarios.

What is an example of Site Selection?

One common example of Site Selection is identifying the optimal location for a new retail store. The process may consider potential sites based on factors such as distance to target customers, proximity to competitors, local economic conditions, availability and cost of parking, and even pedestrian traffic patterns.

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