This project is read-only.


The purpose of the LineSiter software is (1) a proof of concept, and (2) an open source application that provides a least cost path analysis for power lines.

The LineSiter application, a high voltage transmission line siting tool, was developed to include social information from a survey instrument. It uses various functions including a Monte Carlo process to determine a proposed least cost path for transmission line siting.

LineSiter was developed as part of a special joint venture between Idaho State University, Boise State University, the University of Idaho, INL, and CAES.


Siting of overhead high-voltage power lines based on physical and regulatory constraints is a challenging spatial optimization problem for which GIS is well suited.

Existing techniques typically include rasterization of constraint feature layers; application of a layer weighting through map algebra; and ultimately optimization using least cost path analysis. Such an approach, and the current public feedback system, do not explicitly bring into the modeling process social attitudes associated with the placement of these lines.

Using the DotSpatial framework, we are building a custom GIS software tool to address this issue by combining current modeling techniques; a survey mechanism requesting general attitudes from the public on spatial features to avoid in the siting process; and a Monte Carlo simulation analysis approach to better integrate survey results.

The DotSpatial framework provides an important open source foundation by integrating the project’s data processing components with mapping functions and custom coded least cost path tools. It is expected that this DotSpatial based software package will allow utility companies to consider public opinion from the outset of the siting process and avoid potential pitfalls that come from doing otherwise.

Current Status

This application is the culmination of a three year Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) grant from the Idaho National Lab (INL) and Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES). This application incorporates public attitudes survey data and geographic information systems spatial data. After years of development, the LineSiter Beta Version is officially available for download and testing. The software has successfully been tested using datasets for three separate projects. For more information about how you can download the software, please visit

Meet the Project Team that is making this software a reality!

Additional Funding

Active development of this project has been shelved pending additional funding for development. Additional funding of the LineSiter program is needed for further development, improvement, and testing. This will result in greater accuracy, additional features, and growth into additional industry applications such as pipelines, roadways, solar array farms, etc. If you would like to help with future funding, please contact us at

Project Sponsors

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Last edited Sep 28, 2012 at 10:35 PM by rburch, version 33