As one of many processes within a workflow/script, I need to convert polygons to rasters. I am using the feature_to_raster tool in ArcGIS 10.1. This is done within a python script, but for the purpose of trouble-shooting I'm also trying these things in ArcMap.
For most features the process works fine, but there are a handful of features which result in empty rasters (i.e., only NoData cells). I do need to have at least one data cell created for each polygon; empty rasters are not acceptable.
I determined that the problems are very small polygons which don't intersect any cell center of my reference (snap) raster, since the cell size is relatively large in comparison to the polygon. If I don't specify the snap raster, I've found that it does successfully create a raster with a single cell that does have a data value. But I DO need to specify a snap raster so that all my outputs line up, and when I do this, I end up with the empty rasters.
I've tried using the alternate tool, polygon_to_raster, and specifying the cell assignment type to either MAXIMUM_AREA or MAXIMUM_COMBINED_AREA, but I still get the empty rasters.
Does anyone know of a workaround?
EDIT 1: I got polygon-to-raster to work when I added an arbitrary priority field.