Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

TRAILS (Trail Routing, Analysis, and Information Linkage System) Tricks: Adding Custom Data into the Analysis.

If you have specific areas of concern you want to exclude from the trail routing analysis, you can add custom layers into the cost surface analysis in addition to the four predefined layers TRAILS (hydrography, elevation, transportation, and PAD-US management boundaries) see the article below for more details. 

There may be instances where you want to have more control over the areas a trail corridor may be routed though for one reason or another. Areas of avoidance may include landownership, cultural areas, or sensitive natural areas. 

Note: Custom data layers must be polygons. If you have lines or points you would like to use, apply a small buffer to them first to create polygons. 

To add the custom layer into the analysis, go to “Add Data” panel first and add the desired layer into the map view from ArcGIS Online, a Service URL, or a zipped file. 

Add Data Panel
The graphic shows the “Add Data” panel in TRAILS application. Users can choose to search for data to add, to use a service URL, or add a file.

You now should be able to see the added data in the map view as well as in the legend. 

Custom Layer in the Map View
The graphic shows the custom data layer of sensitive areas added in the map view. The name of the layer also shows up in the legend.

Next, go to the “Advance Scenario” settings, 1) scroll down to the section called “Custom Cost Layers,” and 2) click on Add Custom Cost Layer. Next, 3) choose the desired layer(s) in the pop-up window. Then 4) press Add Selected Layer(s) as Desired Cost Layer(s).  

Custom Cost Layers settings
The graphic shows advance setting for Custom Cost Layer panel. The user click on “Add Custom Cost Layer” button and select the desired custom layer to add into the analysis.

When the layer is added successfully, you will see the weight and score scale bars for the selected layer under “Custom Cost Layers.” You can now adjust the weight and score for the custom layer(s) to meet the needs of your scenario. The example below shows sensitive areas included in the analysis. Trail corridor analysis results avoid these sensitive areas because they were scored as “high cost” in the scenario settings. 

Trails Results with Custom Layer
The graphic shows the proposed trail connectors. The results go around the custom layer of sensitive areas.