This might be a really simple question but I can't figure it out! I need to save a DEM in Arc ascii grid format so that I can load it in to Matlab.

If I explain a bit about what I am doing maybe it will help: I have a 3D plane produced from the CFtool in matlab and I need to work out the volume between this plane and my DEM. I was going to import into matlab and try working it out. I have tried the other way around, i.e. exporting my plane from matlab but this doesn't seem to work.

Anybody know how to save the DEM (in tif at the mo) as arc ascii grid format? Or have any other ideas on what to to work out my volume.

Working in Arcmap10 and Matlab R2012a

  • 2
    At the risk of sounding flippant have you even tried to read the ArcGIS Help file? If you type the only word "ASCII" into the search box of help the top 2 return pages are about converting to and from ASCII format! – Hornbydd Apr 23 '14 at 23:00

Within ArcMap, I think you're looking for the Raster to ASCII tool (under the Conversion Tools -> From Raster toolboxes).

(The Matlab output, if it's in ASCII, can in theory be imported into arc with the related ASCII to Raster tool -- not sure if you've tried that.)


You can use the gdal utility gdal_translate to convert from tif to Arc ascii grid

I think the basic command would be like:

gdal_translate -of AAIGrid input.tif output.asc
  • Ok, So the name of my file is merged_dem so would the code be gdal_translate -of AAIGrid merged_dem.tif test_dem.asc? Sorry if this is really basic. – Katie C Apr 23 '14 at 12:16
  • That looks correct – nmtoken Apr 23 '14 at 12:19

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