How To: Invert a surface using ArcGIS Spatial Analyst


Instructions provided describe how to invert a raster surface. This process changes the highest cell values into the lowest and vice versa.


  1. Start ArcMap and add the raster surface.
  2. Right-click on the surface and select Properties.
  3. Write down the Minimum and Maximum values found at the bottom of the Source tab.

    If Minimum, Maximum, Mean and Standard Deviation are blank you must Calculate Statistics for the raster in ArcCatalog before proceeding.

  4. Set the Working Directory under Spatial Analyst > Options > General tab.
  5. Set the Extents to the input surface under Spatial Analyst > Options > Extent tab.
  6. Set the Cell Size to the input surface under Spatial Analyst > Options > Cell Size tab.
  7. Open Spatial Analyst > Raster Calculator.
  8. Type the following into the expression box:

    (([elevgrd] - Z_Max) * -1) + Z_Min

    [elevgrd] is the name of the input surface, Z_Max is the surface maximum and Z_Min is the surface minimum.

  9. Click Evaluate.