I am new at GIS, however, I need to create this grid with equidistant boxes similar to graph paper such that these can show approximate distance around different types of places.

How do I do it?

I am using ArcGIS 10.1.

enter image description here

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    Do you mean a grid like graph paper (in which case Create Fishnet) or square buffers at increasing distances from points (in which case do they really have to be square)? – Chris W Oct 25 '14 at 16:44
  • Would you be able to include a picture of what you are wanting to do in your question, please? – PolyGeo Oct 25 '14 at 21:08
  • Yes, basically just like the graph paper.I tried fishnet but no luck, for me. I entered the coordinates, such that upper-left and lower right corners are input. Nevertheless, only one box is created which is tilted. – ALi Talpur Oct 26 '14 at 7:19
  • Based on your results description, I suspect you haven't entered the parameters for the tool correctly. If you do not specify a number of rows and columns, only one cell will be created rather than a grid. You mention entering corners, but the rotation in the result suggests you entered one corner in the y axis definition parameter rather than the opposite corner. Please see my answer for more detail, and let me know if you still have trouble. – Chris W Oct 26 '14 at 21:13

You need to use the Create Fishnet tool. Note there is a link at the top of that help page that leads to further information on How Create Fishnet Works, which includes some graphic examples.

The simplest inputs to create the grid are to:

  • enter an x,y coordinate for the origin point (bottom left) of the grid
  • enter an x,y coordinate that, along with the origin, defines the y axis (this is how you specify a rotation - if x is any value other than the x of the origin, the grid will be rotated)
  • enter the number of rows and columns desired in the grid
  • enter the extent of the grid by either specifying a cell size [cell y dimension times number of rows and cell x dimension times number of columns], or the x,y coordinate of the grid corner opposite from the origin (ie, top right) [cell size will be the distance between the two corners divided by the number of rows/columns]

There are further options, such as creating a polyline or polygon geometry for the grid, or creating a separate point layer for use in labeling, etc. The two help files linked above (or available through the program) cover the other options and their use in more detail.

  • Thanks for the detailed reply. However, please help me out with this nuisance. Allow me to explain what I've been doing, and the results I got. I am working on a raster image, which is map of city that I've my project on. I've digitized the map, so far. While creating fishnet, I entered the origin point coordinates, as the relate to the projection that I am working on, WGS 1984. I don't want the rotation, I want a grid across the map with, say 1 km x 1 km, boxes. So, I guess I need not to enter the number of rows and columns. – ALi Talpur Oct 27 '14 at 9:14
  • @ALiTalpur WGS84 isn't a projected coordinate system; it's geographic and its units are degrees, not meters. That is probably contributing to your problem, as most tools use the dataframe's CRS units of measure. I would suggest reprojecting to something like the appropriate UTM zone for your city. Then if you enter 1000 for the cell width/height, your grid will be at 1km. If you don't want to estimate the required columns and rows, you can enter the opposite corner from the origin. You could also use your raster as a template and it will fill in all of that (except cell size) for you. – Chris W Oct 27 '14 at 20:08
  • thank you so much. However, like I said am complete noob at arcgis, nevertheless I really want to create this grid for the map. I was wondering if you could somehow simplify the things little bit, with tutorial or something. Or should I just try reprojecting the fishnet on new layer with UTM zone projection of my city or I have to change the raster image's projection, in which case I guess it'll be nuisance. – ALi Talpur Oct 29 '14 at 9:02
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    @ALiTalpur You may be able to just change the Dataframe's projection rather than actually reprojecting the raster. Sometimes on-the-fly works for a raster and sometimes it doesn't (depends on the software and what you're doing). Change the dataframe to the right UTM zone (double-click 'Layers', the default name, in the table of contents and go to the coordinates tab) and it should reproject all layers in and added to that dataframe on-the-fly. Then run fishnet, and select the raster file as a template at the top of the tool dialog and put 1000 for cell dimensions. – Chris W Oct 31 '14 at 20:22

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