I have many rasters and one vector layer with many polygon features and I am looking for a way to find the polygons which fall above each raster (sort of select by location)

Please suggest an way so that I can automate the process.

End Goal is to find number of polygons intersecting each raster and their names.

  • What is the shape of raster images ? are they polygons ?
    – Shiko
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 12:02
  • Yes, all the rasters are polygons Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 2:55
  • Have you followed the answer of @MappaGnosis ?
    – Shiko
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 3:12

2 Answers 2


This can be done in model builder. You would cycle through your folder of rasters and extract out their extents. These can then be used to run a select by location and either update a counter field or export. Up to you.

You do not say what your rasters are they may have a load of nodata around the edges, how do you want to deal with those?


You can build a tile index (Raster->Miscellaneous->Tile Index in QGIS or raster catalog is the equivalent in ArcGIS). This produces a polygon shapefile of all the raster extents in a single step(Note if you have long. Then just select by location in the usual way.

(Note if you have a lot of rasters and/or long path names, just edit the command to be /some/path/*.tif or whatever format your rasters are in, rather than list all the rasters individually).

  • I have built a raster catalog and have exported their footprints into a feature class. Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 2:56
  • I must have missed your arcgis tag as I gave you the QGIS answer, but yes, that's the equivalent. Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 7:21

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