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I would like to create a continuous raster that is a buffer around a polyline in ArcGIS. For example, lets use a maximum buffer distance of 20m.

At a 20m distance from the line, the raster value would be 0; At a 0m distance from the line (i.e. right on top) the raster value would be 1; At a distance of 10m from the line, the raster value would be 0.5; At a distance of 5.25m from the line, the raster value would be 0.2625;

I realize I could create multiple buffer polygons around the line, then convert to raster and normalize, but is there any easier way to do this that also allows for a more continuous raster?

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  • Now that I reread your question, there is something it doesn't add up. I think the value at 5.25m should be 0.7375? In this case I should modify my answer and operate your raster using (20- RasterValue)/20 – Albert Feb 13 '20 at 10:09
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You can achieve this in two steps. First you need to create a raster with the distance to your line using the tool Euclidean Distance. This will create a raster from 0 to 20 (if you limit the distance to 20m).

And from here you can operate this raster using the Raster Calculator that in your case would be dividing your raster by 20.

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