I am teaching myself GIS at the moment, and there are still some matters I haven't quite got the hang of.

I'm using ArcGIS 10.1, and have three datasets:

  • LAYER 1: A population dataset at a high resolution, as a tiff raster. (Edit: the convert to polygon tool does not work on this raster)

  • LAYER 2: A polygon layer, created as a fishnet, of equal squares, defined by two vectors.

  • LAYER 3: An outline of the coastline.

What I need to do is to calculate the total population within a buffer of distance X km from the coastline for each polygon defined by the fishnet, that falls on the coastline.

I am currently struggling to combine the population data with that of the polygon layer however - any ideas?

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    – PolyGeo
    May 22, 2016 at 11:29

1 Answer 1


Try the following workflow:

  1. Buffer your coastline feature
  2. Intersect the buffered coastline with the fishnet polygons
  3. Run Zonal Statistics as Table with a "SUM" statistic
  4. Use Join Field to join the zonal statistics table with the intersected fishnet polygons (i.e. based on the OID or FID)
  • Hi - sounds good. Trying to use the intersect, but the output is empty, as fishnets don't contain any data - is another tool I can use for this?
    – GneissDay
    May 22, 2016 at 14:30
  • The output should not be empty. Make sure the fishnet is in vector polygon format rather than polyline.
    – Aaron
    May 22, 2016 at 14:36
  • Just to clarify, the shape I was trying to buffer was too high a resolution, so my computer couldn't cope. Computationally this shouldn't be a problem if anyone reads this in the future!
    – GneissDay
    May 27, 2016 at 13:20

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