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I am currently trying to get a group on connected polygons that are within the same feature to a raster so I can reclassify it for cost analysis. I noticed that ArcGIS for Desktop has a "feature to raster" and "polygon to raster" tool that I can use. Both of the tools recognize my layer, and they seem like they will accomplish the same task, however, I was wondering if there is one that I should use in my specific scenario over the other, or does it really not matter?

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Feature to raster will convert lines, points or polygon features to rasters, while polygon to raster will only convert polygons.

http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#//00120000002v000000 http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#//001200000030000000

They both can handle polygons, which is why they are completing what you are trying to do.

  • So why is there both options, if the feature to raster tool will just do it all? – Cameron Sloan Aug 3 '15 at 17:11
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    From the description of Feature to Raster --"This tool always uses the cell center to decide the value of a raster pixel. If more control over how different types of input feature geometries are to be converted, please refer to the respective specific conversion tools: Point to Raster, Polyline to Raster, and Polygon to Raster." – George Aug 4 '15 at 21:16

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