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Global functions

Available with Spatial Analyst license.


ArcGIS Pro now has a new type of raster function called global functions. Global functions provide you with the ability to perform processing at a specific resolution and extent. By default, global functions process rasters at the source resolution and full extent. This means that applying a global function may take some time, depending on the size of the outputs. You need to exercise prudence when using global functions, as applying them on inputs that are large, such as mosaic datasets, may result in long processing times.

Global functions are distinguishable from regular raster functions in many different ways. All global functions have a hammer icon Global function to distinguish it from other raster functions. When you open a global function, or a raster function template that contains a global function, a notification will be displayed at the top of the function page indicating that these functions may take some time to complete. When editing the parameters of a global function in the Raster Function Editor or using a global function in a raster function template, the global function node has an icon on it that distinguishes it from regular raster functions.

It is recommended that when using global functions, you process data using the distributed raster analysis tools. This allows you to process data in a distributed fashion and allows processing time by global functions to be minimized.

List of global raster functions

Function nameDescription

Cost Allocation function

Calculates, for each cell, its least-cost source based on the least accumulative cost over a cost surface.

Cost Distance function

Calculates the least accumulative cost distance for each cell from or to the least-cost source over a cost surface.

Euclidean Allocation function

Calculates, for each cell, the nearest source based on Euclidean distance.

Euclidean Distance function

Calculates, for each cell, the Euclidean distance to the closest source.

Fill function

Fills sinks and peaks in an elevation surface raster to remove small imperfections in the data.

This function is in the Hydrology category.

Flow Accumulation function

Creates a raster layer of accumulated flow into each cell. A weight factor can optionally be applied.

This function is in the Hydrology category.

Flow Direction function

Creates a raster layer of flow direction from each cell to its steepest downslope neighbor.

This function is in the Hydrology category.

Flow Distance function

Computes, for each pixel, the minimum downslope horizontal or vertical distance to pixels on a stream or river into which they flow.

This function is in the Hydrology category.

Kernel Density function

Calculates a magnitude-per-unit area from point or polyline features using a kernel function to fit a smoothly tapered surface to each point or polyline.

Least Cost Path function

Calculates the least-cost path from a source to a destination. The least accumulative cost distance is calculated for each pixel over a cost surface, to the nearest source. This produces an output raster that records the least-cost path, or paths, from selected locations to the closest source pixels defined within the accumulative cost surface, in terms of cost distance.


A raster function that replaces cells of a raster corresponding to a mask with the values of the nearest neighbors.

Stream Link function

Assigns unique values to sections of a raster linear network between intersections.

This function is in the Hydrology category.

Viewshed function

Determines the raster surface locations visible to a set of observer features using geodesic methods

Watershed function

Determines the contributing area above a set of cells in a raster.

This function is in the Hydrology category.

Zonal Statistic function

Calculates statistics on values of a raster within the zones of another dataset.

Geoprocessing environment settings

Geoprocessing Environment settings for global functions are controlled at the application level. Setting processing environments in ArcGIS Pro can be done by selecting the Environments button on the Analysis tab. See Analysis environments and Spatial Analyst for additional details on environment settings.

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