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Streamlining and Sharing

ModelBuilder provides graphic environment to model workflows

Models are useful representations of reality. Models in ArcGIS help automate geoprocessing workflows by managing and documenting the processes and data required for these operations.

In ArcGIS, models are created in ModelBuilder and stored in ArcToolbox. Part of the ArcGIS geoprocessing framework of ArcGIS Desktop, ModelBuilder provides a graphic interface for designing and implementing geoprocessing models that can incorporate tools, data, and scripts. Both system and custom tools can be added by dragging and dropping them onto a model. Parameter values for tools can be set by using the tools dialog box, dragging input data from the Catalog tree or the table of contents in ArcMap or ArcGlobe, or prompting the model user for input when the model is run.

Using ModelBuilder saves time when designing workflows by making the relationships between processes explicit. Sophisticated models can contain many interrelated processes. In ModelBuilder, the relationship of existing processes can be changed or deleted or parameter values changed without recreating the entire model. By experimenting with parameter values for tools, alternative outcomes can be quickly modeled. Parameters can also be shared between processes.

ModelBuilder also saves time within organizations by allowing the incorporation of existing models and scripts. Models allow both workflows and data to be shared with others. Models can also be exported in Python, JScript, or VBScript.

The two articles in this special section demonstrate how ModelBuilder can be applied. The first article by researchers at the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research, Remote Sensing Centre describes a predictive model they have developed for gauging the erosion hazard for karst landscapes in Lebanon. The second article relates how a decision support application was developed for improving water disposal associated with the extraction of coal bed natural gas in Wyoming.

For more information on ModelBuilder, see the ArcGIS Desktop help topic "Introducing model building."

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