I want to convert a raster to multi-part polygons, using the raster value to determine which polygon each cell becomes a part of. I have provided an example of what I am looking to achieve below, where each cell of the raster is assigned to a single multi-part polygon. If I split the cell values into five intervals, I would want five multipart polygons.

Visual example of raster to 5 multipart polygons

I have attempted to use the "Raster to Polygon" tool in ArcMap, but was unsuccessful because no matter how I used to raster calculator to get rid of decimal points on the raster, decimals continued to remain. Is there a way to do this in R?


1 Answer 1


The following code first builds a sample data and uses function cut to make 5 classes, then converted to raster; converts to spatial and "dissolves" the polygons, merging together those neighboring polygons which have the same value:


s = sample(1:10,100, replace = T)  # build some sample data
ms = matrix(s, nrow =10)           # turn into a 10 x 10 matrix
rs = raster(ms)                    # the raster with numbers from 0 to 10

m = cut(s, 5, labels = F)       # we use cut to make the 5 classes
mx = matrix(m, nrow =10)        
r = raster(mx)                  # the raster with 5 classes

plot(rs, col =  grDevices::palette.colors(n = 6)[-1]) # 5 classes
raster::text(rs)                # plot the numbers

enter image description here

polys = raster::rasterToPolygons(r, dissolve = T)

class       : SpatialPolygonsDataFrame 
features    : 5 
extent      : 0, 1, 0, 1  (xmin, xmax, ymin, ymax)
crs         : NA 
variables   : 1
names       : layer 
min values  :     1 
max values  :     5
plot(polys, col = 2:6)

enter image description here

# in R it is recommendable to use package `sf` for vector data
  • 1
    Thank you for the effort you put into walking me through this. Because of memory limitations, I had to aggregate the raster before cutting and converting it to polygons, but your solution worked perfectly!
    – Kyle Allen
    Nov 12, 2020 at 2:06
  • You may mark the answer as accepted if it solves your question
    – Elio Diaz
    Nov 12, 2020 at 3:39

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