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Feature to Raster


Converts features to a raster dataset.


  • Any feature class (geodatabase, shapefile, or coverage) containing point, line, or polygon features can be converted to a raster dataset.

  • The input field type determines the type of output raster. If the field is integer, the output raster will be integer; if it is floating point, the output will be floating point.

  • This tool always uses the cell center to decide the value of a raster pixel. If more control is needed over how different types of input feature geometries are to be converted, refer to the respective specific conversion tools: Point to Raster, Polyline to Raster, and Polygon to Raster.

  • This tool is a complement to the Raster to Point, Raster to Polyline, and Raster to Polygon tools, which convert a raster to different types of feature dataset geometries.

  • When selecting the input feature data, the default field will be the first valid field available. If no other valid fields exist, the ObjectID field (for example, OID or FID) will be the default.

  • Certain Raster storage environments may apply to this tool.

    • For the Pyramid environment settings, only the Build pyramids setting is honored. The remaining Pyramid environment settings are ignored. More control over the nature of the pyramids can be obtained in a subsequent step by using the Build Pyramids tool.

    • For the Compression environment settings, only the type of compression may be honored. This is only for raster formats other than Esri Grid.


FeatureToRaster_conversion (in_features, field, out_raster, {cell_size})
ParameterExplanationData Type

The input feature dataset to be converted to a raster dataset.

Feature Layer

The field used to assign values to the output raster.

It can be any field of the input feature dataset's attribute table.

If the Shape field of a point or multipoint dataset contains z or m values, then either of these can be used.


The output raster dataset to be created.

When not saving to a geodatabase, specify .tif for a TIFF file format, .img for an ERDAS IMAGINE file format, or no extension for an Esri Grid raster format.

Raster Dataset

The cell size for the output raster dataset.

The default cell size is the shortest of the width or height of the extent of the input feature dataset, in the output spatial reference, divided by 250.

Analysis Cell Size

Code sample

FeatureToRaster example 1 (Python window)

Converts features to a raster dataset.

import arcpy
from arcpy import env
env.workspace = "c:/data"
arcpy.FeatureToRaster_conversion("roads.shp", "CLASS", "c:/output/roadsgrid", 25)
FeatureToRaster example 2 (stand-alone script)

Converts features to a raster dataset.

# Name:
# Description: Converts features to a raster dataset.

# Import system modules
import arcpy
from arcpy import env

# Set environment settings
env.workspace = "C:/data"

# Set local variables
inFeature = "roads.shp"
outRaster = "c:/output/roadsgrd"
cellSize = 25
field = "CLASS"

# Execute FeatureToRaster
arcpy.FeatureToRaster_conversion(inFeature, field, outRaster, cellSize)

Licensing information

  • ArcGIS Desktop Basic: Yes
  • ArcGIS Desktop Standard: Yes
  • ArcGIS Desktop Advanced: Yes

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