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I have a 30-m elevation raster as well as a set of points that overlay the raster.

For each point, I want to calculate the average elevation within a 5-km radius of the point.

One way I was thinking of doing this was by creating 5-km buffers around each point, then using those buffers to calculate the average values of the elevation raster. This should work but I find it hard to believe that there is no easier way of doing this. Does anybody know?

I would prefer a solution using ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop but I could use R too.

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    Making a buffer and using Zonal Statistics As Table would be the fastest (I can think of others, but they are more complex).
    – Erica
    Jul 23 '14 at 15:09
  • Thanks Erica! That certainly makes sense. I was wondering what the other methods you referred to might be. I ask because I have a very large set of points (over 1 million) so creating buffers for each one would probably take too long (and would probably crash ArcGIS).
    – user27355
    Jul 23 '14 at 15:19
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    The Answer by @jbchurchill (Focal Statistics), follow it up with Extract Values to Points, might be faster for many points. For FEW points, I'd still stick with the buffer method, but for MANY... let the raster do the heavy lifting and then just pull out the data.
    – Erica
    Jul 23 '14 at 15:21
  • Correct me if I'm mistaken but isn't Focal Statistics used on solely one raster file? What steps would I take to get the average values from the raster for a 5-km buffer around each point?
    – user27355
    Jul 23 '14 at 15:25
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    (1) Focal Statistics to get the average at each cells, (2) Extract Values to Points to pull from the focal stats raster into your point layer.
    – Erica
    Jul 23 '14 at 15:31