I have a polygon representing a boundary of a lake. I want to create a raster where each cell inside the lake represents the distance to its shoreline using QGIS.

I have tried rasterizing the polygon and using the proximity (raster distance) tool in QGIS with no success. How might you solve this problem?

1 Answer 1


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Make sure your data is in a projected coordinate system so the distance units aren't in degrees.

  1. I have a lake with islands, remove them with Delete holes. You dont have to do this if you want to inklude islands as land.
  2. Boundary to extract the shoreline
  3. Rasterize the shoreline. A fixed value to burn=1. Start with a low resolution or proximity can be very slow.
  4. Proximity. target pixels = 1. Distance units = georeferenced coordinates
  5. Clip the proximity by the delete hole output, or the input polygon layer.

The furthest distance from the shoreline is ~6400 meters:

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