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I am attempting to analyze coastal landscape change. I have two DEMs from significant post-storm periods for my study area. I would like to produce a simple DEM of difference using the Minus tool. My DEMs are from 2016 and 2014, if I want to see how much change occurred from 2014 to 2016 would I use 2016 DEM for Input 1 or 2?

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Sometimes it is easier to look into ArcGIS help: http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/tools/spatial-analyst-toolbox/minus.htm

You can see, that it is Raster1 - Raster2.

So difference between 2014 and 2016 is Raster1(2014) - Raster2(2016). Which would be 0 in same areas. Negative in areas that are higher in 2016 and positive in areas where 2014 is higher.

  • I would reverse the order (2016 - 2014) so a positive difference == an increase in height from 2014 to 2016 and vice versa, which makes more sense intuitively. – user2856 Oct 20 at 1:11
  • Thank you both! – TrrKrim Oct 21 at 18:21

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