Both are in the Spatial Analyst tool kit and report values of rasters based on a given point feature class. I have read both of their web pages on the ArcGIS website and I am still confused about the difference!

Extracts the cell values of a raster based on a set of point features and records the values in the attribute table of an output feature class.

Creates a table that shows the values of cells from a raster, or set of rasters, for defined locations. The locations are defined by raster cells or by a set of points.

The input rasters can be two-dimensional or multidimensional. The structure of the output table changes when the input rasters are multidimensional.

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    You've tagged arcgis-10.2 however, you've linked to ArcGIS Pro. These are different programs. While the current functionality may be the same, they may diverge over time. It's important to link to the tools that you have access to. – Fezter Jun 27 '18 at 22:42
  • I've assumed ArcGIS Pro based on the documentation links. If I made the wrong assumption, then in this case I think it does not matter because I would expect the same behaviour in the equivalent tools from both architectures. – PolyGeo Jun 27 '18 at 22:54
  • I rarely use either of them, unless I have many thousands points to sample, because this gis.stackexchange.com/questions/187322/… gives user much better control over output fields naming. – FelixIP Jun 28 '18 at 4:54

While, fundamentally, these tools are similar, they actually perform different functions.

Yes, the Extract Values to Points adds the raster values to your feature class and the Sample tool creates a table.

However, another major difference is that the Sample tool supports extracting values from more than one raster. So, if you have 20 rasters, you can extract the values from all of them into a single table as different attributes. This can then be joined back to your original point feature class.

Further, the input of the sample tool can be a raster or a point feature class.

You also have more control over the resampling type.


The sample tool gives the output to a table. Extract MV to points brings the value of the points into your feature class.

  • So there is a totally different tool for something that simple? Okay. Thanks for the clarification. – Douglas Jun 27 '18 at 22:26
  • Yeah basically, some other minor differences exist like the ability to handle multidimensional data but really yes that is the major one. Now Extract Multi Value to Points is quite different as you can select a bunch of different rasters to get the value across. – If you do not know- just GIS Jun 27 '18 at 22:33

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