I am working in a Geographic coordinate system in ArcGIS, and I need to create TIFFs by exporting rasters. THese .TIF file must have a resolution (cell size, or GSD) of 1 m.

Is it possible to set any parameter in the Export Raster Data window to achieve this goal?

2 Answers 2


1) Use the resample tool and find the size in meters at your particular latitude.

This site will do that conversion for you.

Then you have it in meters.

2) More likely a better approach would be to convert you data (reproject) into a projected system that uses meters. A good example for the US would be USGS Albers Equal Area but you need to find one that works well for your region.

  • Is 2 a better approach taking into account that I need to have the TIFF coordinates in a geographic coordinate system when exporting it? Then, I think that as I would need a further change of coordinate system to a geographic one, it would be a resampling of the raster and even a distortion. About 1, Wouldn’t it be better to do this calculation for entering the degrees corresponding to 1 meter in the Cell size field within the Polygon to raster tool?
    – Charly
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 6:59
  • About the URL you paste for unit conversions, doesn't this conversion depend on the Geographic coordinate system considered?
    – Charly
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 7:30
  • It does but it is likely WGS 84 or NAD 83, if it is not a global degree system inore 1 and go with 2. As mapBaker and I both tate a reprojection (2) in my answer and (1) in his is likely the better way to go anyway. Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 11:58
  • @usertwoseventwothreenine are you sure the 'resample' tool will do what you propose? If your data is in WGS84 I don't think its going to project the data into metres... I think the tool outputs data in the coordinate system of the inputs, and doesn't change anything except the cell size in the native (input) coordinate system. Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 15:24
  • I fully understand this mapBaker. I am giving the option of finding the closest dd measure to a square meter but stay in the GCS, that is why I state option 2 is better. Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 15:32

What I would do is create a quick model that uses 2 tools:

1) Project Raster - project to a coordinate system using metres, UTM for example, and set the output cell size to 1 (which would be metres)

2) Raster to Other Format - choose TIFF as the output format

If you do use a model to do this, you can then run it in batch!

The only option to use a different coordinate system using the 'export raster data' would be to set the coordinate system of your data frame to UTM (or something in metres) and you'd essentially be projecting on the fly... not a good idea.

  • Why not a good idea? It would be the waty of achieving the meters unit specification without changing the raster coordinates, dimensions, etc. What is wrong in this alternative?
    – Charly
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 6:48
  • many processing tools have problems with GCS (area, distance, hydro) Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 11:56
  • @Charly You're doing the same thing - only 1 is by even ESRI standards a bad approach: projecting on the fly. The data frame re-projection that ArcMap uses is for display only, not data processing. If you want a raster with a cell size of 1m, you have to re-project the data to a metre-based coordinate system. Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 15:22

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