LINK is a set of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) ArcGIS tools
designed to analyze habitat patterns across a landscape. LINK is the latest
product from a series of Decision Support Systems (DSS) that uses species
habitat matrices to model potential species habitat and habitat diversity. What
sets LINK apart from its predecessors is that it uses raster data sources.
Raster data ... sources allow LINK to model habitat over a much larger area than
its vector based ancestors.
LINK's main purpose is to make comparisons of conservation potential between
management units and the surrounding landscape. LINK does this by summarizing
potential species richness, habitat diversity, and habitat composition.
There are three main data sources needed to run a LINK Query. These data
sources include matrices, source layers, and zonal layers (Figure 1).
LINK relates values contained in a matrix to a raster data layer, called a
source layer, to generate indices of potential habitat. The program summarizes
indices of potential habitat using a zonal layer. You can generate several
analytical products of potential habitat with a single LINK Query. A user can
query for an individual species or a group of species.
[Summary provided by the USGS.]