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I have an Excel file with x, y coordinates (lat, lon) and also a value column for my index of interest. I added the data using

file->Add data->Add xy data

Then I want to produce a 'grid' of this point data I have added (to produce a nice map of course). I then used the 'feature to raster' option within the conversion toolbox, and I set the grid size to 0.5 (what I'm interested in). This produces a grid of my data with the values categorised by colour. Then, I try to clip it using a world map coastline using

Raster processing->Clip

in the 'Data management'toolbox. It never seems to work however. All it seems to do is produce a new raster (grayscale) of the data, with nothing clipped out around the coastline boundaries.

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    A grid can also be produced with Create Fishnet tool. Then spatial join Point data to this. Then you dont need to work with raster data at all. – BERA Dec 11 '18 at 12:01
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Rasters in ArcGIS are always rectangular, so you can't actually clip out irregular areas like oceans or continents out of the middle the way you could with a vector data set. So one option is as in the comment above by BERA, to do it as a vector fishnet.

In raster, the best option available would be to have the areas you want clipped away to be cells with NODATA as their value. But I would have thought that's what you'd have gotten already.

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