I would like to draw 100m buffers around particular raster cells (artificial surfaces) in my LandCover raster layer in ArcMap10.2. The Buffer tool only works with polygon and the Expand tool always crashes the whole ArcMap, because its too much data, I think. That´s probably because the expand tool wants to create buffers around every single 100x100m raster cell, if I understand it right. However many of the cells, displaying artificial surfaces, are next to each other, so I only want a Buffer around these cell groups and not around every single cell. Does anyone knows how I can do this?

  • Possible duplicate: gis.stackexchange.com/q/70522/8104. What is your ultimate goal? Why do you want to buffer the raster class? This may be helpful for a possible work-around or more efficient solution. – Aaron Nov 13 '14 at 17:17
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    The aim is to identify ecologcial corridors. For this I want to identify suitable habitat within my study area. Artificial surfaces have a disturbance range of 100m and thats what the 100m Buffer is for. So the habitat is unsuitable in artificial surfaces and 100m around it due to noise and light disturbance, although it might be forest or grassland. – Daka Nov 13 '14 at 20:10
  • Great, this is really helpful Daka. Did you find any helpful solutions in the link I provided earlier? – Aaron Nov 13 '14 at 20:19
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    Yep I had a look at it, but I have to be honest... I don´t understand what I have to do ^^. I understand the steps, but I don´t know how to apply these to ArcGIS and especially to my data. I´m a beginner with ArcGIS and just have some basic knowledge. – Daka Nov 13 '14 at 20:34

You can use Expand to buffer raster "zones" that represent specific values in the raster.

Buffers value 10 by 3 cells Expand("landcover", 3, [10])

  • I tried the Expand tool, but always if I start running it ArcMap just shut down. – Daka Nov 13 '14 at 20:18

You can use the euclidean distance tool, see:


  • The landcover layer does not just conists of the artificial surfaces (around which I want the Buffer) but contains also other attributes like forest, grassland etc., so somewhere I have to 'tell' that I only want a buffer around artificial surfaces like it is possible with Expand. – Daka Nov 13 '14 at 18:24
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    That is easily done by first selecting the "artificial surface" cells, creating the starting raster for the Euclidean distance. – whuber Nov 13 '14 at 21:16

So, I solved my problem in the way that I actually converted my Raster data into Polygon, draw Buffer around it with the Buffer tool and then converted it back into Raster.

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