Write pixel values of a raster layer to text file with ArcObjects


Instructions provided explain how to write the pixel value for each pixel of each band of a multi-band raster layer to a text file using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code. The text file will be located in C:\Temp folder.

This process may take a long time to complete depending on the number of bands and resolution of the raster image.


  1. Start ArcMap.
  2. Create a new UIButtonControl.

    A. Select Tools > Customize to open the Customize dialog box.
    B. Select the Commands tab.
    C. Select [UIControls] from the Categories list box.
    D. Select Untitled from the Save In drop-down list to save the button to this map document. Select Normal to save the button to all ArcMap documents on the machine.
    E. Click New UIControl.
    F. Select UIButtonControl and click Create.
    G. Drag the new UIButtonControl to the toolbar of choice.
    H. Close the Customize dialog box.

    For more information on creating a UIControl, see the ArcGIS Desktop Help topic 'Creating custom commands with VBA and UI Controls.'

  3. With the Customize dialog box still open, Right-click the UIButtonControl and select View Source.
  4. Copy this code into the UIButtonControl's click event.
    'The following code sample will write the pixel values to a text file
    'for the top layer, first band of the raster.

    Dim pMxDoc As IMxDocument
    Set pMxDoc = ThisDocument
    Dim pLayer As ILayer
    Set pLayer = pMxDoc.FocusMap.Layer(0)

    ' Check if layer is a raster layer
    If TypeOf pLayer Is IRasterLayer Then
    Dim pRasterLayer As IRasterLayer
    Set pRasterLayer = pLayer
    Dim pRaster As IRaster
    Set pRaster = pRasterLayer.Raster
    Dim pRasterBandCol As IRasterBandCollection
    Set pRasterBandCol = pRaster
    Dim pRawpixel As IRawPixels

    Dim pRasterProps As IRasterProps
    Dim pPnt As IPnt
    Dim pSize As IPnt
    Dim pPixelBlock As IPixelBlock3
    Dim pPixelData
    Dim lPixelValue As Long
    Dim sTxtFile As String
    Dim objFSO
    Dim objTextStream
    sTxtFile = "C:\temp\" & pRasterLayer.Name & ".txt"

    'Create text file with layer name as filename
    Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    objFSO.CreateTextFile sTxtFile, True

    'Open text file
    Set objTextStream = objFSO.OpenTextFile(sTxtFile, 2, True)
    Dim h As Integer, i As Long, j As Long

    For h = 0 To pRasterBandCol.Count - 1

    Set pRawpixel = pRasterBandCol.Item(h)
    Set pRasterProps = pRawpixel
    Set pPnt = New DblPnt
    pPnt.SetCoords 0, 0
    Set pSize = New DblPnt
    pSize.SetCoords pRasterProps.Width, pRasterProps.Height
    Set pPixelBlock = pRawpixel.CreatePixelBlock(pSize)

    ' Read pixelblock
    pRawpixel.Read pPnt, pPixelBlock

    ' Get pixeldata array
    pPixelData = pPixelBlock.PixelDataByRef(0)

    ' Write band heading information for each band
    objTextStream.WriteLine "All the pixel values for band index " & h & " from " & pRasterLayer.Name
    objTextStream.WriteLine "(X, Y) = Value"
    objTextStream.WriteLine ""

    'Go through each pixel and write its value to text file.
    'Starting with top left corner location (0, 0)
    For i = 0 To pRasterProps.Width - 1
    For j = 0 To pRasterProps.Height - 1
    pRawpixel.Read pPnt, pPixelBlock
    lPixelValue = pPixelBlock.GetVal(0, i, j)
    objTextStream.WriteLine "(" & i & ", " & j & ") = " & lPixelValue
    Next j
    Next i

    objTextStream.WriteLine ""
    objTextStream.WriteLine "-------------------------------------------------------"

    Next h

    'Close the file and clean up
    Set objTextStream = Nothing
    Set objFSO = Nothing
    MsgBox "Top layer is not a raster layer." & vbNewLine & _
    "Text file was not created.", vbExclamation, "Error"
    Exit Sub
    End If

  5. Run the code.

Article ID:000008769

  • ArcMap 9 x

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