Using a Definition Query for a layer is ignored by Spatial Analyst functions.
After setting up a query, running a Spatial Analyst function, such as Convert Features to Raster, all features, including those not displayed, are converted to raster.
This is a known issue with ArcGIS 8.1.
Solution or Workaround
This problem has been resolved in ArcGIS 8.1.2.
In ArcGIS 8.1, you can use Select By Attributes to get around this problem.
- Click the Selection menu and click Select By Attributes.
- Set up a selection and click Apply.
- Run the Spatial Analyst function.
The analysis will only occur on the selected features.