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For my project I need to find the distance to the nearest road from forest polygons. I'm trying to do a weighted overlay analysis (eventually) for a habitat selection project so I think I need to end up with a raster that shows the distance to the nearest road for each forest cell (among other factors I'm including).

Can anyone give me any advice on how to do this? At the moment my layers are in vector format but I can convert to raster.

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I believe the Euclidean Distance (Spatial Analyst) tool will accomplish what you're after. The tool creates a raster file where each cell displays the distance to the nearest input feature.

For your weighted analysis, you could then reclassify the EucDist raster into discrete distances (eg 500-1000m).

http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//009z0000001p000000

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