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Working with ArcGIS Spatial Analyst 9.2 (NRCS-NEDC-000173)


Explore how the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst software extension uses raster and vector data in an integrated environment. This course teaches basic raster concepts and shows how to use ArcGIS Spatial Analyst tools to create, run, and edit spatial models. It focuses on problems that are best solved in a raster environment such as surface analysis and distance measurement. Participants are shown how to use the raster tools in ArcGIS Spatial Analyst and learn how to build grid-based datasets. The fourth day, added to the ESRI course by NRCS , explores other topics applicable to resource applications such as 3-D Analyst.

In addition to the formal ESRI course, advanced topics are offered designed specifically for NRCS applications. These include determination of slope gradient and curvature, hydrology analysis, and an Introduction to 3D Analyst and its application.


The overall learning objectives are that at the end of the session participants will be able to:

  • Understand the raster data models;
  • Learn the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst interface;
  • Convert data to raster format and build raster databases;
  • Learn many of the map algebra functions;
  • Use ArcGIS Spatial Analyst for distance modeling;
  • Interpolate surfaces from sample points;
  • Perform surface hydrology functions;
  • Apply basic modeling concepts; and
  • Implement models. 

Topics Covered

  • Basics of ArcGIS Spatial Analyst: Overview of the extension; Understanding raster concepts; ArcGIS Spatial Analyst interface; Comparing raster themes and feature themes; Querying raster themes.
  • Structure of raster themes: How to create raster datasets; Raster storage and management.
  • Aligning themes: Raster registration and georeferencing; How projection affects analysis; Importing and exporting raster.
  • Conducting surface analysis: Calculating density; Choosing an interpolation method; Interpolating a continuous raster from sample points; Contours and hillshade; Visibility analysis.
  • Map algebra functions: Writing expressions; Expression syntax.
  • Calculating distance measurements: Euclidean distance; Cost–distance; Finding the least-cost path.
  • Surface hydrology: Identifying watershed basins; Determining surface runoff characteristics.
  • Designing and implementing GIS models: Spatial modeling concepts and issues.


Prerequisites and Recommendation

  • Completion of Introduction to ArcGIS I (for ArcView 9, ArcEditor 9, and ArcInfo 9) or equivalent experience is required. Programming knowledge is not necessary.
  • Participants in this course should know the following:
    • Basic operating system skills (copying, deleting, and moving files and directories)
    • Adding, renaming, and deleting themes
    • Setting data frame properties (map and distance units, projection)
    • Displaying layers in ArcMap
    • Using ArcGIS menus, buttons, and tools
    • Performing queries
    • Selecting records in layers tables
    • Using ArcGIS online help



4 days.

Target Audience

This course is intended for advanced GIS users who need to perform spatial analysis.

NEDC Contact

Lisa Visokey

Technical Specialist

Dwain Daniels


Go to AgLearn to request enrollment in Working with ArcGIS Spatial Analyst 9.0 (NRCS-NEDC-000173).