I have a question regarding converting a vector forest cover layer to a raster layer.

The basis of what I am trying to do is determine what percent of forest cover is within a set of 1x1 km grid cells in arcmap. I originally attempted to do this using fishnet, tabulate area tool, and a vector layer for forest cover, but I got the error message "maximum record length has been exceeded" (if anyone knows a way to get around this without converting the vector layer to a raster, please feel free to also let me know). So, I decided to convert the vector forest cover layer to a raster and try to use the zonal statistics tool. Here, I run into problems where it seems that the numbers do not add up correctly.

First off, I originally merged two vector files for secondary and primary forest into one vector file I called "forest"; using the merge tool; is it possible I executed this wrong and lost important information in this process?

Next, should I be using the feature to raster tool or the polygon to raster tool? I am wondering when I used the feature to raster tool if I am not inputting the correct information to provide the proper data related to the forest cover pixels. For example, what should be in the VALUE field, can I just put FID? Should it be something for specific? Do I need to be specifying a cell size, and should it be 30? (Since the map is resolution is 30x30 m pixels).

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  • This would work better with vector (create fishnet, union and summary statistics with some calculate areas in the mix) but one of your fields must be very long.. start by turning off all the fields you don't need prior to running your analysis. Are you performing this in a projected coordinate system? Does each of your fishnet polygons have a unique value? – Michael Stimson Jan 22 at 23:11
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  • If you want to stick with rasterizing you've got an ampersand (&) in your output path, if you're exporting to GRID the process will not like having & in the path and it's probably too long - GRID rasters are archaic and have some real issues with modern (non 8.3) path naming. Please ensure you're rasterizing to an ERDAS IMG or GeoTIFF if you want to use this path. – Michael Stimson Jan 22 at 23:27

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