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Lesson Navigation IconSuitability analyis

Unit Navigation IconDecision support with GIS

Unit Navigation IconBoolean Overlay

LO Navigation IconOverlay

LO Navigation IconOverlay with Boolean Operators

LO Navigation IconAssessment, limitations, and problems

LO Navigation IconSelf Assessment

Unit Navigation IconWeighted overlay

Unit Navigation IconDetermining weights

Unit Navigation IconSummary

Unit Navigation IconRecommended Reading

Unit Navigation IconGlossary

Unit Navigation IconBibliography

Unit Navigation IconMetadata

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Boolean Overlay

In simple suitability analysis, the logical combination of true/false information often leads to a more or less straightforward solution. Let’s suppose the wolf visiting St. Gittal only settles inside the forest and only in steep areas. In this case, a few logical considerations are enough to determine the suitable habitat. Each of these two criteria can be modeled using a binary information layer (forest / non-forest and steep / not steep). The areas which satisfy both criteria constitute the potential habitat, that is, areas that are forested AND steep. This method of spatial query is called termBoolean Overlay and is a commonly used analysis function in GIS.

In addition to the intersection with "AND" there are other logical combinations. This unit deals with the basic idea of Boolean overlay and shows its application in suitability analysis with GIS.

Learning Objectives

  • You can explain the principle of Boolean overlay in a few sentences
  • You can sketch examples for Boolean operators with Venn diagrams
  • You know the limitations of Boolean overlay and can judge whether this method is suitable for different types of suitability analysis or not
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