Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a raster with values ranging from 0 to 8991130624. This raster is actually the result of a cost distance analysis.

I want to scale the raster to range from 0 to 1 and take the inverse? so that a cell with the highest cost/value (e.g. 8991130624) will now have a value of 0 while a cell with the lowest cost/value (e.g. 0) will now have a value of 1.

I am using raster calculator with the following expression:


where I add x to the expression by clicking on the raster from the list of available rasters when using the tool

This is not working and producing an error: "ERROR 000539: Error running expression; rcexec() :ERROR 999998:Unexpected Error."

Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong?

share|improve this question

Also it should be 1.0 - (x / 8991130624) otherwise you may end up with just 1's and 0's

To edit, if the values are cast as integers, you will end up with 0 or 1. At least one value must be a float, hence, 1.0 will ensure that the output is a floating point value between 0 and 1.

share|improve this answer
This is a good point, Dan: a solution that does not force floating point arithmetic will produce mysterious results. But to avoid integer division it does not suffice to use 1.0 instead of 1, because it's too late to change the result of x/8991130624. It's clearer and more reliable to typecast such solutions explicitly, as in 1.0 - (float(x) / 8991130624.). The decimal point after 8991130624. prevents ArcGIS from trying to store this number as an integer, where it will overflow 32-bit storage. (I suspect that may be the cause of the error reported by the O.P.) – whuber Jul 19 '13 at 13:36

Make sure you have spaces on either side of the mathematical operators:

1 - (x / 8991130624)
share|improve this answer
Thanks! I'll check this out! – Julie Apr 15 '13 at 23:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.