I am trying to overlap the buffer polygons with the 'visible' part of my Viewshed Raster dataset. I have succeeded in doing this. I had to transform my raster data into polygons and then use the intersect tool to see where the buffer and Viewshed polygon overlap.

The situation is sketched here:

enter image description here

Red is in this case the visible part and light blue the buffers. My question is actually if it is possible to calculate the intersection between raster and polygon without transforming the raster data first into polygons?

I am working with the software Arcmap (ArcGIS)

  • Please add which software you're using.
    – Erik
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 12:00
  • Oh sorry, ArcGIS (ArcMap)
    – Mike
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 12:01
  • In QGIS you have it: 'Saga: Raster Statistics for Polygons'. May be you can find an homonimous one in ArcGIS. Commented May 15, 2020 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


If you want the result to be a raster as the intersection of buffer and the underlying raster, you can convert your buffers into raster with the same size of pixel of the underlying raster. Then you can compare values with cell statistics or raster calculator.

  1. Convert your polygons to raster and reclassify the all values to 100 (Buffer raster)

  2. It looks like you have only two distinct values in your raster layer. Reclassify those as 1 and 2.

  3. Use raster calculator and add two raster together Output raster = Original raster + Buffer raster

On your output raster all values showing 101 and 102 are the intersection as the raster you want.

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