I am using a raster layer with either 1 or 0 in each cell. On top of this layer, I have a European countries shapefile. The countries that contain a '1 cell' in the raster beneath are the Countries I am interested in studying.

Is there anyway to select only the country polygons that have a '1 Cell' in them from the raster beneath?

I am using ArcGIS 10.3 for Desktop

2 Answers 2


This should be easy with Zonal statistics.

  1. Run the Zonal Statistics as Table tool on your raster using countries as zones (you will need Spatial Analyst extension). Use sum as zonal statistic.

  2. After completion, join the resulting table back to your original Countries dataset and select zones that have non-zero sums.

  • +1 A nice aspect of this solution (which is simple and fast) is that you get a count of the 1-cells in each polygon for free. Often that's useful.
    – whuber
    Dec 1, 2015 at 0:31

One does not usually select vector data using rasters, it's usually the other way around.

One approach, the speed of the operation depending upon the size of the cells is to:

  1. Ensure your raster has an attribute table, if not use the build attribute table tool. If you don't know what that is then look at the help.
  2. Select the row in the attribute where value = 1.
  3. Run the raster to point tool, this will honour the selection and export only the cells that were one as points.
  4. Run the select by location tool selecting countries that intersect the 1 points.

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