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I'd like to aggregate a raster from 1m to 6m in ArcGIS with a custom rule.

For example, each cell value of aggregated raster = mean value of 5 highest cell values from 36 aggregated values.

How do I do that?

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(1) In aggregating 6:1, there will be 6^2 = 36 values rather than 25. (2) Using ArcGIS, this task is possible but not easy. Would you consider a Python or R solution? – whuber Dec 17 '12 at 16:04
Thanks, 36 indeed :) Python, R or any other solution would be much appreciated, though Python seems a little bit more friendly for ArcGIS user. – Tomek Dec 17 '12 at 20:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Here is an R solution. Other questions on this site demonstrate how to read and write raster files in R, so let's get right to the solution. First, some random data to illustrate the procedure:

n.rows <- 1000
n.cols <- 1000
r <- outer(1:n.rows, 1:n.cols, 
  function(x,y) sin(x/100) * cos(((100+x)/(1+(y/100)^2)))^2) + rnorm(n.rows*n.cols, 0, .10)

Here's the code. It applies a user-supplied function f to each 6 by 6 block of the raster r; f finds and averages the five largest values. The code uses sapply to break the array into columns of width 6 and calls aggregate to spit out a column of statistics within each such vertical band. (I coded it in this order--split the columns first--because R stores arrays in column-major order. This will maximize the locality of reference, which is important for speed on very large arrays.)

f <- function(x) {y <- as.vector(x); mean(y[order(y, decreasing=TRUE)[1:5]])}
aggregate <- function(x, k=dim(x)[2], fun) sapply(seq(1, dim(x)[1]+1-k, k), 
  function(i) fun(x[1:k+i-1, ]))
agg <- sapply(seq(1, dim(r)[2]+1-6, 6), function(j) aggregate(r[, 1:6+j-1], k=6, fun=f))

This takes about two seconds for the sample grid of a million cells. Plots help us compare them:

r.r <- raster(r); agg.r <- raster(agg)
image(r.r, zlim=c(min(r), max(r)), col=terrain.colors(300), main="Original")
image(agg.r, zlim=c(min(r), max(r)), col=terrain.colors(300), main="Aggregate")


It is evident that the aggregate tends to pick out the larger values in each block.

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