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I have ArcView 10 and I'm trying to clip a DEM (TIFF) to a wilderness boundary (polygon). I know ArcView won't let me do this without Spatial Analyst, but I don't have $2500.

I tried exporting my raster and vector in QGIS, but for the life of me, I can't get the the two to line up (different coord systems).

I've tried to "DEFINE COORD SYSTEM" in Arc Toolbox, but something just isn't right...

I'm about to go insane after 5 hours of failures... Can anyone alleviate this pain??? PLEASE

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Ultimately I need to export the clipped DEM raster to STL format somehow for importing into CAM software...any ideas are appreciated – switzcheese Oct 14 '12 at 1:37
Why can't you do this through Data Management toolbox? Their help says that it is allowed in ArcView… – nadya Oct 14 '12 at 2:59
I have only been successful clipping a vector with a vector through data management. When the input features box comes up...only vector files are selectable – switzcheese Oct 14 '12 at 3:02
more specifically, you CAN clip a raster using an envelope (extent coordinates), but not a ploygon – switzcheese Oct 14 '12 at 3:05

You can go to Data Management -> Raster -> Raster Processing -> Clip, and Spatial Analyst is not needed. There just check the checkbox "Use input features for clipping geometry".

From help: If the checkbox "Use input features for clipping geometry" is checked, then the output raster is clipped based on the perimeter of the polygon shape. If the checkbox is not checked (default), then the raster is clipped based on the extent of the polygon.

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Yes!! Thank you! Don't know how I missed that before. I looked up on other forums and they said "You need Spatial Analyst"...Thanks again! – switzcheese Oct 14 '12 at 3:31
Any ideas on freeware to concert to STL format? I don't see anything in Arc that will convert to anything other than DWG or DXF – switzcheese Oct 14 '12 at 3:33
@switzcheese Please ask that on a separate thread. That way other people will benefit as well. – R.K. Oct 15 '12 at 9:18

If you're having trouble doing this in QGIS, make sure your coordinate systems are the same.

  1. Load your DEM and check the CRS (right-click, "set layer CRS" and see what's selected);
  2. Load the shapefile - if it has a different CRS, then right-click and Save as ... to the same CRS as the DEM, then load the resulting reprojected polygon;

Now you can clip the DEM with Raster|Extraction|Clipper using the 'Mask layer' option, and selecting the reprojected polygon as the mask.

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