I have a NetCDF file in ArcMap that I created using the Make NetCDF Raster Layer tool. The band dimension of interest is the variable "time", which has 316 grids. I need each individual grid as its own raster. However I cannot find any way to do this other than individually displaying each date, and exporting it to a raster. Is there a way to iterate through the grids and export each as a raster? Or am I stuck manually exporting each and every one?

  • What have you tried? Most of the GUI tools have an ArcPy analog.
    – Vince
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 20:28
  • Mainly displaying each date in the "time" variable, and then exporting it as a raster. Wouldn't be terrible with 10 dates, but 316 isn't practical.
    – Wincow
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 23:41
  • No one here is likely to question the wisdom of scripting more than a dozen of anything, but we don't want to start getting a reputation as a coding service, either, so we ask that scripting questions provide a best effort at solving the problem.
    – Vince
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 2:03
  • I agree, I was wondering if there was a tool in Arcmap to expedite this. That being said, I did figure out how to do this in R. I will provide the code I wrote as a comment in case anyone else wants to replicate it. Tragically, accomplishing this in ArcGIS will remain a mystery
    – Wincow
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


I figured out an alternative solution, however it is using R, rather than ArcGIS. I figure I'd post the code here in case anyone is trying to do the same thing.

#This script iterates through dimensions of a .nc file
#(in this case, sea surface temperatures of 316 separate
#dates), and writes them out as individual rasters.

#Import libraries

#Introduce .nc file as a brick. Varname is the dimension
#of interest. All other dimensions are not included
#in the brick
b <- brick("/path/filename.nc", varname="sst")

#Get the names of the individual sst bands, 
#this will be important for iterating through the
#brick and exporting individual rasters
names1<- names(b)

#Begin iteration
for(i in names1){
  #Create string of sst band i
  paste1<- paste(i)

  #subset brick to sst band i
  b0<- b[[paste1]] 

  #write out raster
  writeRaster(b0, file = "file_path/file_name.tif", format = 'GTiff', overwrite = TRUE)

  • 1
    This doesn't answer the question, as posed.
    – Vince
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 18:38
  • It accomplishes the goal of exporting dimensions of a .nc file as individual rasters, albeit not in ArcMap. As far as I know, the only way to accomplish this using ArcMap is to individually select and export each one.
    – Wincow
    Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 0:48
  • That's almost certainly not the case. Playing with raster bands in Python can be quirky, but there's code samples in the documentation to work it out.
    – Vince
    Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 3:48
  • I meant using ArcMap tools so I can avoid coding using arcpy. I find R to be superior to Python when working with rasters anyway. Just my opinion
    – Wincow
    Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 19:34

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