Mexican Spotted Owl, stretching...

Land Facet Corridor Designer

***   Award Winning Software   ***
 2nd Place, Best Desktop Application
2010 ESRI International User Conference, San Diego, CA, USA

Last Modified:   Revision 1.2.884, July 9, 2013

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On-Line Manuals
(requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
 Land Facet Corridor Designer for ArcGIS 9.x (18.6 MB)

Land Facet Corridor Designer for ArcGIS 10 (18.7 MB)

Manual in Letter (8.5 x 11) page size

Manual in A4 page size

View and Download Land Facet Corridor Designer Poster

View and Download Full Corridor Designer Poster, Portrait

View and Download Full Corridor Designer Poster, Landscape

View and Download TPI Poster

View Original TPI Poster by Andrew Weiss

View and Download Mahalanobis Poster


Featured in Fall 2010 Edition of ArcNews


Download Land Facet Corridor Designer Raw Code Files (Visual Basic 6 project file, 42.8 MB)

This ArcGIS extension is part of a larger suite of tools designed to assist with corridor design and analysis.  For additional tools, plus tutorials, literature, blogs and sample datasets, please visit the Corridor Designer website at

Topics:  Land Facet, Corridor, Topographic Position Index, Mahalanobis, Shannon Index, Density, Raster Inversion

Author:  Jeff Jenness

Wildlife Biologist, GIS Analyst

Jenness Enterprises

3020 N. Schevene Blvd.

Flagstaff, AZ, 86004   USA

(928) 607-4638 

Land Facet Corridor Designer is a geographic approach to designing wildlife linkages that will be useful in the face of impending climate change. This novel GIS-based procedure identifies the geographic portion of a region that maximizes continuity and diversity of landscape units defined by topographic and soil traits (such as high-elevation north-facing slopes with rocky soils, or low-elevation flats with thick soils) that are expected to facilitate wildlife movement. We refer to these topographic-soil units as land facets. The rationale is that future vegetation (and, indirectly, animal assemblages) and human land uses will be determined primarily by the interaction among land facets (soil and topography) and future climate regimes. The conceptual basis for this approach was recently published (Beier, P., and B. Brost. 2010. Use of land facets to plan for climate change: conserving the arenas, not the actors. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01422.x).

Land Facet Corridor Designer is explained in detail, and applied to three landscapes in Arizona, by Brost (2010, MS Thesis, School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University; available online). Publications from this thesis, with Brian Brost as senior author, should appear in the peer-reviewed literature in 2011.

Until now, practitioners designed corridors to promote movement of focal species through today’s land cover map. Because land cover maps are likely to change in this century, any corridor linkage based on those maps might fail during climate change. By conserving strands of land facets, linkage designs based on our new procedures should preserve the “arenas” that support current and future biodiversity, without relying on the modeled responses of the temporary occupants of those arenas.

Conservation practitioners now have a flexible tool to design and map corridors of land facets at high resolution (30-m or 10-m, depending on resolution of the DEM) that have a high probability of allowing for animal movement, including shifts of species’ geographic ranges, during and after climate change. This can enhance the ability to design wildland networks robust to climate change, reducing the impact of climate change on the biota of natural landscapes. These procedures are transparent and do not depend on global or regional circulation models.

The Tools:  This extension is intended as a companion to CorridorDesigner available at, and we recommend that you also download and install those tools. The tools in this Land Facet extension will work fine without CorridorDesigner, but some of the general tasks (such as creating corridor polygons over a habitat suitability raster, or creating patch polygons) require functions from CorridorDesigner. The tools in Land Facet Corridor Designer provide an alternative way to create the “habitat suitability” raster (i.e. the cost surface), but using land facets rather than focal species. Once you have created that cost surface raster, then you can use the standard CorridorDesigner tools to create the corridor polygons.

This extension is also designed to work in conjunction with a set of Land Facet R tools, available near the bottom of the page at  This ArcGIS extension does not use any R functions directly and therefore will work just fine without R installed.  However, the Land Facet cluster function is entirely performed in R.  This extension provides tools to export data in a format suitable for analysis in R, and it also includes tools to import the data that R generates.  All other analyses and tools, including the Density Surface, Shannon's Diversity Index, Termini Polygons, Raster Inversion, TPI Tools, and Mahalanobis Distance Tools are performed entirely by ArcGIS and do not require R.

Recommended Citation Format: For those who wish to cite this extension, the author recommends something similar to:

Jenness, J., B. Brost and P. Beier.  2013.  Land Facet Corridor Designer: Extension for ArcGIS. Jenness Enterprises. Available at:

Current Citation List (from Google Scholar):

bullet Land Facets Citations List 1
bullet Land Facets Citations List 2
bullet General TPI Citations List 1
bullet General TPI Citations List 2
bullet General TPI Citations List 3
bullet General Mahalanobis Citations List 1
bullet General Mahalanobis Citations List 2

Requires:  ArcGIS 9.1 or better (at any license level) or ArcGIS 10.

For detailed instructions on installation and operation, view the on-line PDF version of Land Facet Corridor Designer Manual         


Version 1.2

bulletBuild 1.2.598 (March 31, 2010)
bulletInitial Release
bulletBuild 1.2.797 (April 20, 2010)
bulletAdded a tool to identify Termini polygons
bulletAdded documentation for all tools
bulletFixed a number of bugs found in various tools
bulletBuild 1.2.805 (April 27, 2010)
bulletPrimarily modifed manual to clarify and further explain several tools.
bulletMinor modifications to dialog control names.
bulletBuild 1.2.808 (June 24, 2010)
bulletSeveral minor code changes throughout extension.
bulletAdded discussion of R tools to the manual.
bulletBuild 1.2.809 (July 1, 2010)
bulletFixed a “Type Mismatch” error that occurred when you clicked the button for many of the raster tools. The error would only occur if you had a non-raster layer selected in your map when you clicked the tool.
bulletBuild 1.2.813 (July 20, 2010)
bulletRepaired a bug in the 3-class slope position tool in which it mislabeled “canyons” as “ridges” and vice versa.
bulletBuild 1.2.815 (November 6, 2010)
bulletUpdated tools and installer to run in ArcGIS 10.0.
bulletBuild 1.2.816 (November 16, 2010)
bulletWrote a workaround for an ArcGIS 10 bug in which the GX Dialog was unable to recognize a GRID filter, causing an “ActiveX component can’t create object” error message. This error would only appear in ArcGIS 10, and would always appear when the user clicked a button to specify a new location to save a raster.
bulletBuild 1.2.816 (December 29, 2010)
bulletUpdated ArcGIS 10 Installation routine to include the file comdlg32.ocx.  The Extension Code is unchanged.
bulletVersion 1.2.831 (Marrch 14, 2011)
bulletFixed bugs caused by raster data types that are not recognized by Visual Basic. Also fixed bugs which inadvertently changed the appearance of certain raster layers in the map document, and which prevented some tools from being run more than one time in a single ArcGIS session.
bulletAdded additional ArcGIS 10 registration instructions to manual to handle Windows 7/Vista and Windows 32-bit/64-bit issues.
bulletVersion 1.2.832 (April 28, 2011)
bulletModified the code to work around an “Automation Error” arising from a problem extracting the attribute table of categorical rasters.
bulletVersion 1.2.840 (December 14, 2011)
bulletFixed a bug in the "Export to R" dialog in which it would occasionally crash with the error "Invalid procedure call or argument" at line 329.
bulletVersion 1.2.848 (June 13, 2012)
bulletFixed a bug in the TPI tools in which it would not always save the raster correctly to the hard drive.
bulletVersion 1.2.874 (June 16, 2013)
bulletWrote a work-around for an ArcGIS 10.x bug in which the “Land Facet Clusters from ‘R’” tool was unable to create a 16-bit integer grid, causing a crash that would typically say something like “Invalid procedure call or argument” at line 2540 of the “CalcLandFacetRaster” function. If you are running ArcGIS 9.x, then the tool works exactly the same as it did before. If you are running ArcGIS 10.x, then the tool creates a floating point raster of land facets, then exports it to an integer raster, then deletes the original floating point raster.
bulletRemoved the options to create Land Facet Cluster rasters in any format other than GRIDs because the raster tables were causing problems in other formats. If necessary, you can easily export your Land Facet GRID to another format manually.
bulletVersion 1.2.884 (July 9, 2013)
bulletWrote a work-around for an ArcGIS 10.x issue in which the TPI “Standard Elevation” option triggered an “Error in executing grid expression” error at line 2952 of TPI_Code.bas module.
bulletWrote a work-around for an ArcGIS 10.x issue in which the “Identify Termini Polygon” function would trigger an error stating that “An unknown error has occurred in the geometry system” at line 618 of the “LandFacetFunctions.bas” module.

Enjoy! Please contact the author if you have problems or find bugs.

            Jeff Jenness                            

            Jenness Enterprises                

            3020 N. Schevene Blvd.                     (928) 607-4638

            Flagstaff, AZ  86004


Please visit Jenness Enterprises ArcGIS Tools site for more ArcGIS tools and other software by the author. We also offer GIS consultation services for both ArcGIS and ArcView 3.x to help you meet your specific data analysis and application development needs.