Suitability analysis

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Suitability Analysis is the process and procedures used to establish the suitability of a system - that is, the ability of a system to meet the needs of a stakeholder or other user.

Suitability in GIS context[edit]

Suitability analysis in a GIS context is a geographic, or GIS-based process used to determine the appropriateness of a given area for a particular use. The basic premise of GIS suitability analysis is that each aspect of the landscape has intrinsic characteristics that are to some degree either suitable or unsuitable for the activities being planned. Suitability is determined through systematic, multi-factor analysis of the different aspect of the terrain.[1] Model inputs include a variety of physical, cultural, and economic factors. The results are often displayed on a map that is used to highlight areas from high to low suitability.[2]

A GIS suitability model typically answers the question, "Where is the best location?" — whether it involves finding the best location for a new road or pipeline, a new housing development, or a retail store. For instance, a commercial developer building a new retail store may take into consideration distance to major highways and any competitors' stores, then combine the results with land use, population density, and consumer spending data to decide on the best location for that store. [3]

GIS Applications[edit]

  • Land use analysis: Most jurisdictions use land suitability analysis for site selection, impact studies, and land use planning. [4]
  • Retail site selection: Suitability analysis is critical for both marketing and merchandising purposes, as well as for choosing new retail locations.[5]
  • Agriculture
  • Defense
  • Crime analysis
  • Town Planning

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael D. Murphy (2005) Landscape Architectural Theory
  2. ^ James A. LaGro Site Analysis
  3. ^ Spatial Analyst
  4. ^ Edward J. Kaiser, David R. Godschalk, and F. Stuart Chapin, Jr. Urban land use planning
  5. ^ Ela Dramowicz (2005) Retail Trade Area Analysis Using the Huff Model