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Overlay Analysis

I a newbie to InVEST tools and I am trying to run a simple overlay analysis, but I am faced with a few problems.

1) Model appears to successfully run, but no output is generated

2) Try to run the model, but it would crash or stall (using only 4 different layers, not including the AOI).  I used the sample data and I would get an output, but when I try to use my own data it becomes a problem.

My questions are:
1) Does the tool require the folders be named in a specific way (i.e. Must be named Recreation_RIS ...) or can the folder be named uniquely as long as there are no spaces.

2) I am aware that the Overlay Analysis tool is created to identify 'hotspots" of human activities, but can it not be used to identify zones of critical or important habitat?

Thank you in Advance,


  • Hi KW,
    Your questions on troubleshooting the errors are probably best handled by our software team, I'm sure they will likely request a log from any crashes to diagnose the issue. If InVEST isn't creating a log for some reason, it is likely that they will request your data stack. Posting your log file or a dropbox link to your datastack here may help move the process along if you don't mind sharing.

    Regarding your second question, while the overlap analysis tool may provide some functionality in that regard, are you aware of the InVEST habitat quality tool? I'd suggest comparing the two tools to see which best suits your needs.

  • KW, 

    Were you able to resolve your issue?  

    You should be able to name your folders and files however you wish, though as you say, they should not contain spaces.  There are occasionally issues with long file names so it might be worth doing a test with shorter names. 

    As Rob mentioned, I'd encourage you to check out the Habitat Quality tool to see if it fits your needs.  The overlay tool maps where multiple things overlap in space.  We suggest its use for human activities since there are often multiple human activities that co-occur.  If you're interested in where the most number of habitats overlap, the tool would be a good fit. 

    Feel free to reach out with additional questions
    - Katherine 
  • Thank you all for responding.

    I have not been able to resolve the issue, but I will shorten the file names and see if that works

    I am aware that the Habitat Quality tool exists.  I am interested in determining where the most number of habitats overlap as a way to "objectively" identify those zones.

    Thank you again for all of the suggestions!

  • jdouglassjdouglass Administrator, NatCap Staff
    Hi @kwilliam22, If the Overlap Analysis tool is still not working for you, it would be very helpful to include your logfile from the run here in the thread and to send your datastack to in whatever way would be convenient so we can take a look.
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