Automating geostatistical interpolation using template layers

Do you regularly perform geostatistical interpolation using the same parameters? We know that copying and pasting the same parameters over and over can introduce error and can be pretty tedious. However, this process can be streamlined using the Create Geostatistical Layer Tool.

With the Create Geostatistical Layer tool, you can create a new layer using an existing geostatistical layer as a template. The tool will read the interpolation parameters from the template and apply them to a new set of data. All you need to do is specify the template layer and the new data, and the tool will do the rest. The interpolation method doesn’t matter; the tool works for all methods offered in Geostatistical Analyst.

For example, if you receive temperature recordings every day from the same locations, you may want to use the same parameters in your daily interpolation. Since the parameters will be identical, you will be able to see how temperature changes over time without worrying that the variations are due to different interpolation parameters. With the Create Geostatistical Layer tool, you only need to manually create an interpolation layer once, for a single day, and from then on you can use that layer as a template for all subsequent days. Now, creating an interpolation layer for a new day simply entails running a single tool.

How do I create a template layer?

The simplest way to create the template layer is to use the Geostatistical Wizard. In the Wizard, you can specify the interpolation parameters for the template layer. With ArcGIS 10, you can even use the Wizard to optimize various interpolation parameters.

How do I use the Create Geostatistical Layer tool?

The Create Geostatistical Layer tool has three required inputs:

  1. Input geostatistical model source: This is where you specify the template geostatistical layer.
  2. Input dataset(s): This is where you specify the dataset and data field that you wish to interpolate.
  3. Output geostatistical layer: This is where you give a name to the new layer that will be created.

When is it appropriate to use template geostatistical layers?

Remember that all interpolation parameters from the template will be applied to the new layer. Therefore, it is only appropriate to use the same parameters for datasets that have nearly identical characteristics. For example, it is not appropriate to apply the same parameters to two different types of data (such as temperature and elevation), and you should not apply the same parameters to data that come from different geographical regions. Even if the data come from the same region and are the same type (like temperature measurements across California), you should still be very cautious before using the same interpolation parameters.

This post written by Eric Krause, a member of the Geostatistical Analyst team

About the author

Eric Krause is a Product Engineer on the Geostatistical Analyst extension. He has worked at Esri since 2010 and specializes in geostatistical interpolation, spatial statistics, and general spatial analysis.

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