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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Decision Support Systems

Raster Split Tool

Download tool: UMESC_Applications.tbx

The Raster Split tool is a new Arc Toolbox command, implemented by importing a toolbox (.tbx) file into the users’ standard Arc Toolbox. This is accomplished by right clicking on the standard Arc Toolbox and selecting “Add Toolbox”.

The Raster Split tool requires no Administrative privileges, setup/install programs or installation of any files other than the .tbx file itself – it is completely self-contained.  ArcGIS 10 or higher is required to utilize the tool.

Once the toolbox is imported the command is ready to use and will function just as any other Arc Toolbox command, including using in Model Builder.

The purpose of the tool is to automate the process of breaking up large rasters (such as NLCD landcover) into smaller pieces which may be desired such as counties, watersheds, etc… and allowing the multiple output rasters to be named according to an attribute in the split shapefile. Without automation this process can be quite time-consuming and tedious (imagine trying to split a NLCD raster of the entire US into 8 digit HUC’s manually).

To operate the tool the user needs an input shapefile which is effectively a study area boundary, a split shapefile with a text field which acts as the cookie cutter and a source of output file names (think counties, watersheds, etc…), and finally the raster which is to be split by the split shapefiles. All three datasets should be in the identical projection. Bring up the tool and click on the folder icons to navigate to the datasets you wish to use (datasets do not need to be added to the ArcMap view). Then select the field to split and name with from the pulldown list and finally select your desired output directory and the type of raster output you would prefer (leave blank for GRID, or enter img, or tif for those formats).

Below is an example using a shapefile of the state of Wisconsin as the input shapefile (study area boundary), a counties shapefile for the entire US (it will be automatically clipped to the input shapefile boundary), and a raster of NLCD landcover for the Wisconsin area. The output will be rasters of NLCD landcover for each county named using the “Name” field from the counties shapefile.

Raster Split Tool demo graphic

Raster Split tool example graphic

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Page Last Modified: March 14, 2013