I have a polyline shapefile representing a road network. I want to rasterise this data, with the resulting values in the raster showing the total length of lines that fall within the raster cell, similar to this question: Convert line shapefile to raster, value=total length of lines within cell - however I wish to use ArcGIS 10.2. The data is projected so the units will be metres.

I have attempted to do this via the polyline to raster tool (however the value assigned is the length of the whole segment) and also some spatial analyst tools such as line density (which requires a radius). I'm sure I am missing an easy way to do it but I can't seem to find it.

2 Answers 2


A way of doing this is this:

  1. Create a vector grid using the fishnet tool to the required cell resolution.
  2. Run the intersect tool, this will cut up your road network and attach the polygon ID to the cut road segments.
  3. Run the summary statistics tool on your intersected data grouping by polygon ID and summing polyline length.
  4. Join the summary table back to the vector grid by the ID. This attaches the summed polyline lengths to the grid. Where there are no polylines you'll have null entries.
  5. Run the polygon to raster tool using the summed length field.
  • I did consider doing this, however as the road network is extensive and the required pixel size is very small I was hoping there would be a more direct calculation.
    – 752bj
    Jun 19, 2015 at 1:51

Use Line Density tool in ArcGIS, but it requires the Spatial Analyst extension.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.