Design rule purpose

The purpose of this design rule is to report on the number of individual features that can be found around an option returned by Optioneer. User is presented with individual option metrics which show the totals, disaggregated by feature type. This information is useful when comparing various options and assessing viability of corridors - it allows to 'look beyond the centerline'.

How to configure

There are three configurable parameters for this design rule which refer to defining what distance defines corridor, proximity and catchment. Each of these is independent and expressed in meters. Corridor should be the closest to the centerline and catchment - the furthest. Default values are 50m for corridor, 200m for proximity and 500m for catchment. The design rule always evaluates three 'boundaries' so it is important to always take advantage of its full functionality.

Once values are defined by the user, the number of features will be calculated with respect to the input alignments. In this example, we are presenting two alignment options, west (blue) and east (red).

The result for west route alignment (blue) catchment area is as follows. GIS features which are within the catchment are highlighted in the figure below.

For the east route (red) the alignment is as follows. GIS features that are within the catchment are highlighted in the figure below.

The condition of the for a GIS feature to be included in the catchment of the route is simple: if any part of that feature overlaps with the 'catchment' area, the feature will be included as present in catchment. It is up to the user to later define how severe the impact of the feature presence is.

Important notes

  1. Boundaries are defined from the centerline to the boundary. That means that catchment includes everything that is in proximity which includes everything that is in the corridor.

  2. Users do not get a map returned to Optioneer, but instead they get metrics which summarise how many features are present. Other design rules can help identify which features pose the highest risk, while this design rule allows for a quick, quantitative assessment.

  3. If Optioneer is used in generation mode, information about features within catchment of the route is not currently used and is only added at the end of the generation mode, to provide richer information to the user.

  4. Currently, the GIS datasets used in this design rule are not configurable. The design rule will use 'constraints' and 'linear features' datasets by default.

  5. The numbers reported are dependent on how underlying datasets are structured. Sometimes a road might be split into sections, sometimes a few buildings can be represented as a single polygon. This is an impossible issue to solve - we expect that 'on average' the same issues prevail across the dataset therefore the values are useful for comparison between different options.

Input / output summary

Input parameters


Default value


Distance defining 'corridor'



Distance defining 'proximity'



Distance defining 'catchment



Output parameters


Example value


'Corridor ' + name of GIS layer.

Example: 'Corridor Buildings'



'Proximity ' + name of GIS layer.

Example: 'Proximity Offshore Wrecks'



'Catchment '+ name of GIS layer.

Example: 'Catchment Electricity Transmission Lines'



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