I am trying to classify a raster image with the Maximum Likelihood Classification tool. MLC Tool

I understand from the ArcGIS Resource Center I need to input a signature file in the second field to tell the tool how to classify it. But I don't see how to make the signature file (see figure below). I think the Input raster bands field just needs the raster I am classifying.

What goes into the Input raster or feature sample data field?

The raster I have entered in the Input raster bands field is the same file I want to classify.

Create Signature tool


A signature file is required when you use the geoprocessing tool Maximum Likelihood Classification to classify an image. To create a signature file, you can use the Create Signature File tool on the Training Sample Manager dialog box. First you need to create Training Samples, to create training samples:

  1. On the toolbar, choose an appropriate image layer in the Layer list.enter image description here

  2. Click the draw button. Notice that there is a choice of four drawing tools available: polygons, circles, rectangles, and select segment. enter image description here

  3. In the map display, identify an area that belongs to a known class. Use the drawing tool to define a training sample. The following image shows a polygon training sample: enter image description here

    Once you finish drawing or selecting the training sample, a new class is created in Training Sample Manager with a default name, value, and color.

  4. In the manager, optionally change the class name, value, and color for the class.

  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to create a few more training samples to represent the rest of the classes in the image. The following screen shot shows how manager appears after five classes were created:

    enter image description here

  6. Open Training Sample Manager from the Image Classification toolbar. Click the Create Signature File button

    enter image description here

  7. On the file browser dialog box, pick a location and specify a name for the signature file, then click OK to save the file.

Now you can use the Signature file in your Tool.

For Reference: Click here


Regarding the creation of signature file you need to add the bands which you are using for your classification. Just for an illustration if I am using Landsat MSS satellite data and I want to maybe do some classification I would add bands of my use like band 1,2,3,4 or whatsoever.

  • The image I am classifying is a geotiff image with bands 1,2,3. Should I enter the three band images like this into the Signature tool's Input raster bands field? LC08_LT1P...B1.tif LC08_LT1P...B2.tif LC08_LT1P...B3.tif
    – Regulus
    Aug 16 '18 at 19:55
  • Yes if you need all the three bands simply add them.
    – Swarley
    Aug 16 '18 at 19:58
  • Should input the same bands in the Input raster bands field in the Maximum Likelihood Classification tool? What goes in the Input raster or feature sample data field in the Create Signature tool?
    – Regulus
    Aug 16 '18 at 20:21
  • For maximum likelihood you need a signature file. Signature file is created by adding your required bands which you want to consider in classification. The signature file is further used for the maximum likelihood tool and in feature sample goes your training data or you may same the same bands.
    – Swarley
    Aug 16 '18 at 20:30
  • What is the training data I will put in the feature sample field?
    – Regulus
    Aug 16 '18 at 20:44

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