ArcGIS Spatial Analyst

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ESRI Spatial Analyst
Esri-10GlobeLogo sRGB .png
Developer(s) ESRI
Operating system Windows
Type GIS
License Proprietary
Website ArcGIS Spatial Analyst product page

ArcGIS Spatial Analyst is an extension to ArcGIS for Desktop that provides tools for comprehensive, raster-based spatial modeling and analysis. Through ArcGIS Spatial Analyst, users can derive and analyse new information via existing data, build spatial models, create and quantify cell-based raster data, conduct coherent raster and vector analysis, and unify traditional vector data with cell-based raster data.

ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension is also available for ArcGIS 3D Analyst, ArcGIS Geostatistical Analyst, ArcGIS for Server and ArcGIS Engine.

Using ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension

ArcGIS Spatial Analyst helps users to complete the following tasks:

  • Suitability Modelling: Revolves around locating an optimum location for via the analysis of influential factors.
  • Spatial Modelling: Revolves around the analysis of sophisticated spatial relationship for many types of geospatial issues. Spatial modelling is comprised of two types of modelling;
    • Representation Modelling: Revolves around descriptive models.
    • Process Modelling: Revolves around distance modelling and hydrological modelling.
  • Terrain Analysis: Revolves around the analysis of surface slope, hillshade, contour, surface aspect and curvature.
  • Model cost: Revolves around the calculation of accumulated cost for a project.
  • Visualize patterns. [1]


Toolsets in Spatial Analyst toolbox

The main components in ArcGIS Spatial Analyst are geoprocessing tools, Map Algebra, the Spatial Analyst toolbar, and the Image Classification toolbar [2] .

  • Geoprocessing tools - In this ArcGIS extension, there are about 170 geoprocessing tools to be used for spatial analysis operations. The general categories in these tools include basic mathematical and logical operations, as well as raster dataset creation and processing.
  • Map Algebra - In ArcGIS 10, Map Algebra is fully integrated into the Python environment. However, to create Map Algebra expressions syntax in Python is similar to what user is already familiar with from the Raster Calculator, Single Output Map Algebra (SOMA), and Multiple Output Map Algebra (MOMA) geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS 9.
  • Spatial Analyst toolbar - The interactive tools provided in the toolbar allow users to create contour lines on a surface raster and explore the distribution of values in a raster layer by creating histograms of the data.
  • Image Classification toolbar – A single location to perform image classification of multiband raster datasets with both interactive and geoprocessing tools.

ArcGIS Spatial Analyst for Server

ArcGIS Spatial Analyst for Server allows user to share services to desktop, mobile, and web application. It provides more than 150 tools and function that are embeddable in web application for quick analysis which include suitability modeling, hydrologic modeling and for calculating distance and direction.

Spatial extension for ArcGIS Engine

Spatial extension is one of the seven additional extensions for ArcGIS Engine Runtime. The functions provided in the extension enable the application to create, query, and analyze cell-based raster data.


  1. [1]” ArcGIS Spatial Analyst: Advance GIS Spatial Analysis Using Raster and Vector Data.EsriWhitePaper. Accessed 8th April 2015
  2. Desktop Help - An overview of ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension. ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension. Esri. Accessed 3 December 2014

External links