I have a raster file on precipitation and I want to create zonal statistics as a table using a shapefile with boundaries of countries across the world. However it appears that I need to take into account that in different latitudes the corresponding area is different and thus I need to weight my statistic (mean etc.) for area.

Any suggestions on how I can do that?

  • 2
    I should clarify that I work with ARCGIS 10.1
    – An_Li
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 12:43
  • 1
    If I understand your problem correctly: use an equal-area projection. Then you do not have to "weight you statistic".
    – Jens
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 15:23
  • 2
    An_Li, @Jens offers the best solution: use an equal-area projection. However, if you wish to avoid reprojecting (and the resampling that necessarily goes along with that), your idea is quite workable. At the very end of gis.stackexchange.com/questions/53664/…, I describe how to obtain a weighted (zonal) average. For weights, use the cosine of the latitude.
    – whuber
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


If you are open for other GIS tools then have a look at SAGA-GIS:


There is a module called "Grid Statistics for Polygons" which does exactly what you are looking for.

  • Thanks for the comments. I will try the equal area projection. Unfortunately I am new to ARC GIS so I already have difficulties with already, let alone moving to a different software.
    – An_Li
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 15:51

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