Preparation of Land Resources Development Plan by Implementing AHP-based Weighted Overlay Analysis on Geospatial Inputs

Abstract views: 133 / PDF downloads: 42


  • Suparn Pathak 1Regional Remote Sensing Centre (West), ISRO Complex, Jodhpur 342 003, India
  • Virat Arora 1Regional Remote Sensing Centre (West), ISRO Complex, Jodhpur 342 003, India
  • S S Rao 1Regional Remote Sensing Centre (West), ISRO Complex, Jodhpur 342 003, India
  • Uday Raj National Remote Sensing Centre, Balanagar, Hyderabad 500 037, India


Planning for sustainable development of land resources demands suggestion for best alternate land-use based on the prevailing geo-environment. This practice is assisted by geospatial analysis that involves evaluation of multiple inputs such as existing land cover, ground water prospects, land capability, geomorphology and slope. Judgement on the basis of relative importance among the input layers is highly subjective which significantly affects the results. This study uses a mathematical method named Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) for assigning weights to the input layers while performing weight-based overlay analysis for preparing Land Resources Development Plan (LRDP) of a development Block in arid western plain zone of India. A pair-wise comparison matrix was prepared illustrating the importance of each of the layers with respect to other. Normalized principal eigenvectors generated from this matrix were used as weights in further analysis. The input layers were rescaled on the scale of 1 to 10 considering their favorability towards alternate land-uses like intensive agriculture, agro-horticulture, agro-forestry, silvi-pasture, fodder and fuel wood. Favorability maps were generated for each alternate land-use by applying AHP-derived weights. An integrated output (LRDP) was produced by allocating label to every location depicting name of the alternate land-use that scored best among all the favorability scores at that location. LRDP thus prepared is a cost effective method for planners to combat land degradation incorporating different opinions of experts regarding the weightage of input theme layers.
Key words: Sustainable land use planning, land resources development plan (LRDP), geographic information system (GIS), weighted overlay analysis, analytic hierarchy process (AHP).


Download data is not yet available.


Cao, K. 2018. Spatial Optimization for Sustainable Land Use Planning, Elsevier Inc., pp. 244 – 252.

Chabrillat, S., Kaufmann, H., Hill, J., Mueller, A., Merz, B. and Echtler, H. 2002. Research opportunities for studying land degradation with spectroscopic techniques. 9th Int. Symp. on Remote Sensing - Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring. GIS Applications and Geology II (Ed. M. Ehlers), Agia Pelagia, Greece, 2002, SPIE 4886, 11-19

Chand Ramesh, Raju S.S. and Pandey L.M. 2008. Progress and potential of horticulture in India. Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics 63(3): 299-309.

Dalal-Clayton, B., Dent, D. and Dubois, O. 2013. Rural planning in developing countries: Supporting natural resource management and sustainable livelihoods. Routledge.

Table 6. Pair-wise comparison matrix for calculation of weights as part of AHP

Importance on the scale of 1 to 9



Groundwater prospects

Land capability classification

Land cover

Normalized principal eigenvector (weights)












Groundwater prospects



Land capability classification




Land cover


Fig. 5. Integrated output of Land Resource Development Plan (LRDP).


Dale, Mark R.T. and Fortin, Marie-Josee 2014. Spatial Analysis: A Guide for Ecologists. Cambridge University Press, Second Edition, pp. 49.

Dregne, H.E. 1986. Desertification of arid lands. In Physics of Desertification (Eds. F. El-Baz and M.H.A. Hassan). Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Erenstein, Olaf C.A and Schipper, Robert A. 1993. Linear programing and land use planning. Wageningen Agricultural University.

FAO 1993. Guidelines for Land-use Planning. FAO Development Series 1. Rome.

Fazal, S. 2000. Urban expansion and loss of agricultural land - A GIS based study of Saharanpur City, India. Environment and Urbanization 2(12): 133-149.

Geertman, S. 2002. Participatory planning and GIS: A PSS to bridge the gap. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 29(1): 21-35.

Goepel, K.D. 2016. AHPCalc, Creative Commons Licence –

Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development (IMSD) 1995. Technical Guidelines. National Remote Sensing Agency: Hyderabad, India; pp. 1-127.

Malczewski Jacek 1999. GIS and Multicriteria Decision Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York: 392 p.

MGNREGA, IWMP, PMKSY. Technical Guidelines. Govt. of India

Paul, A., Chowdary, V.M., Dutta, D. and Sharma, J.R. 2017. Standalone open-source GIS-based tools for land and water resource development plan generation. In Environment and Earth Observation (Eds. S. Hazra, A. Mukhopadhyay, A. Ghosh, D. Mitra and V. Dadhwal), pp. 23-34. Springer Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry. Springer, Cham

Sharma, T., Kiran, P.S., Singh, T.P., Trivedi, A.V. and Navalgund, R.R. 2001. Hydrologic response of a watershed to land use changes: A remote sensing and GIS approach. International Journal of Remote Sensing 22(11): 2095-2108.

Wani, S.P., Venkateswarlu, B., Sahrawat, K.L., Rao, K.V. and Ramakrishna, Y.S. 2009. Best-bet options for integrated watershed management. Proceedings of the Comprehensive Assessment of Watershed Programs in India. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, 312 p.









How to Cite

Preparation of Land Resources Development Plan by Implementing AHP-based Weighted Overlay Analysis on Geospatial Inputs. (2019). Annals of Arid Zone, 58(1 & 2).