I’ve been facing an issue with the Kernel Density tool. I’m trying to make density change maps for different crime types. I'm running ArcGIS Pro version 2.6.3.

I’ve done this in the past without a problem (same computer, same type of data). The Kernel Density tool usually just takes a few seconds to run (even with several hundred or thousand points).

Right now, I’m trying to run the tool on 442 points, and it is taking forever. It finished running after 2 hours and is hung up with the tool reading 100%.

Any idea why the tool is doing this?

  • I suspect your data. Have you tried running it on two halves of your data to see if the problem is isolated to one of them?
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 30, 2020 at 20:06
  • Sounds like a network issue, try having your data on the c:\ drive and write to the c:\ drive, also this is a tool that can use multiple cores, see parallel processing environment
    – Hornbydd
    Nov 30, 2020 at 20:11

3 Answers 3


The kernel density GP tool calculates a magnitude per unit area from point or polyline features using a kernel function to fit a smoothly tapered surface to each point or polyline.

Kindly go through the below-mentioned checks, and see if this can improve the tool performance.

  • This could be data-specific issues that could cause the tool to run slowly. If the point features are stored on a network, copy this to the local machine as this can greatly speed up processing time
  • A larger search radius within the tool dialogue will also slow processing. While the tool parameters are important, striking a balance between the inputs and desired outputs can also be checked
  • The output cell size is equally important with regard to processing. A smaller cell size will produce a larger output and will take exponentially longer to process
  • As mentioned by @Hornbydd, try to set the parallel processing factor from the environment option of the tool, the Parallel Processing Factor environment will divide and perform operations across multiple processes enter image description here

The problem was indeed my data. I was trying to make a raster for just the area of the City of Atlanta (Atlanta, Georgia, USA). All of the geocoded points should have been with in the city limits of Atlanta. Indeed, 99.9% of the points were where they were expected to be. But two points geocoded way outside of Atlanta (Vancouver, BC, Canada, and Chicago, IL, USA). Thus, the kernel density was trying to make a raster for most of North America. (ie, it's gonna take a long time to run and processes.) Once I corrected the two geocoding errors, the tool ran as expected.

Thanks for everyone's input


I've had the exact same problem, doing kernel density for data in chile and one data point was in the antarctic...tool was running endlessly


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