Suppose you have a feature class that you need to convert to a very detailed raster (where each cell size is quite small). With a cell size of 0.0092908447 in the Feature to Raster tool, the procedure takes hours to complete (mine was running for 4-5 hours with some feature class never seeming to end).

How can one make this run faster?

2 Answers 2


If you choose a geographic coordinate system as a projection, the tool will run faster. The reason why mine took so long is because my feature class was projected using an equidistant projection.

I reprojected the feature class using a geographic coordinate system and now the conversion from feature class to raster takes seconds.

Note that in my case I don't need the raster data to be projected (since I will not be using them for any distance calculations). The time saving from this procedure may be offset by the reprojection of the raster to an equidistant projection.

  • note that it is not the fact that you've chosen a GCS, but the fact it was projected to an equidistant projection (e.g. meters or feet). Thus he solution should be to use coarser resolution, that is instead of 0.0092908447 meters, you get 0.0092908447 decimal degress that should be around 1.034 meters
    – dof1985
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 3:37

If you have enough RAM you could try putting the raster input, output, and ArcGIS' temp directory all on a virtual disk on the memory. I have used ImDisk before. This decreases latency in disk read/write times, and is faster than anything out there really. Might have to do them one at a time depending on the size and your ram capacity.

ImDisk link: http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/#ImDisk

Where does ArcGIS store temp files: http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/tools/supplement/temporary-files-created-by-geoprocessing-tools.htm

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