Is there a way to calculate the density of a raster cells in ArcGIS?

The dataset I have is of ground points (there are some cells assigned no-value) and I want to calculate the density of points so that I can chose the best interpolation method.

  • how do you want to measure density? pixels per square foot?
    – Paul H
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 20:55
  • Is your raster a Lidar point cloud derivative? If so, do you have access to the original point cloud data?
    – Aaron
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 21:22
  • Are you trying to get an 'average number of pulses' over the whole raster? Or do you have a target density and want to calculate pass/fail? If you calculate the statistics with 0 as NoData you will be able to see the min/max/mean/standard deviation for the whole raster excluding cells with no pulses. If your cell size is 1 metre then the mean will be the average number of pulses per square metre. Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 22:31

1 Answer 1


I would use Focal Statistics to calculate the sum of cells within a rectangular moving window.

From the documentation:

Calculates for each input cell location a statistic of the values within a specified neighborhood around it.

The following example shows focal statistics calculated within a 3x3 rectangular neighborhood.

enter image description here

OutRas = FocalStatistics(InRas1, NbrRectangle(3,3,MAP), "SUM", "")

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