How To: Create a raster with rectangular cells


Instructions provided describe how to create a raster with rectangular cells. In certain applications, it may be necessary to model data using a raster whose X and Y cell sizes differ, thereby producing rectangular cells. While rasters with rectangular cells are not currently supported for analysis purposes in ArcGIS Desktop, they can be created by following the methods outlined below.


The following steps assume that a point shapefile or feature class containing the desired cell values to be modelled in a raster with rectangular cells is available. If this data is in a table format, please consult the article on how to create points from a table of XY coordinates in the Related Information section of this article.

  1. Use the Create Fishnet tool in ArcToolbox > Data Management Tools > Feature Class toolset to generate a gridded line feature with the desired rectangular properties.
  2. Convert the fishnet line to polygons using the 'Feature to Polygon' tool in ArcToolbox.
  3. Conduct a spatial join to associate the raster values with the points containing the desired raster information.
  4. Use the Polygon to Raster tool to generate the raster by specifying the spatially joined field as the source of the raster cell values.

Related Information