A quick tour of Spatial Analyst

The ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension provides a rich suite of tools and capabilities for performing comprehensive, raster-based spatial analysis. With this extension, you can employ a wide range of data formats to combine datasets, interpret new data, and perform complex raster operations. Examples of the analysis that you can do with Spatial Analyst include terrain analysis, surface modeling, surface interpolation, suitability modeling, hydrological analysis, statistical analysis, and image classification

The following are brief descriptions of the main components of Spatial Analyst:

Following is further discussion of each of these components of the Spatial Analyst experience in ArcGIS 10.

Geoprocessing tools

Spatial Analyst provides 170 geoprocessing tools to perform spatial analysis operations. In addition to the purely analytic tools, general categories of these tools include those that perform basic mathematical and logical operations, as well as raster dataset creation and processing. The tools are organized by groups of related functionality into 19 toolsets.

Spatial Analyst toolbox
Toolsets in Spatial Analyst toolbox

Map Algebra and Python

Map Algebra is now fully integrated into the Python environment. The syntax for creating Map Algebra expressions in Python is very similar to what you are already familiar with from the Raster Calculator, Single Output Map Algebra (SOMA) and Multiple Output Map Algebra (MOMA) geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS 9.x. The Python environment in ArcGIS 10 improves on the previous experience by full command autocompletion, expanded scriptability, and deferred execution.

Map Algebra in Python example

Spatial Analyst toolbar

With the interactive tools on the Spatial Analyst toolbar, you can create contour lines on a surface raster and explore the distribution of values in a raster layer by creating histograms of the data.

Spatial Analyst toolbar

If you are familiar with the Spatial Analyst toolbar in 9.3 and earlier versions of ArcGIS, you will notice that the toolbar in ArcGIS 10 no longer has the drop-down list of certain individual operations. All the Spatial Analyst tools are available to you through geoprocessing tools and Python and can now be added to any toolbar by customizing it.

In place of the 9.3 and earlier Raster Calculator dialog box, Map Algebra expressions can be entered directly in the Python window.

Image Classification toolbar

With this toolbar, you can perform image classification of multiband raster datasets with both interactive and geoprocessing tools.

The Image Classification toolbar is a single location to perform image classification. It provides interactive and easy to use tools for creating and evaluating the training samples needed for supervised classification. You can also access several geoprocessing tools for multivariate analysis.

The Image Classification toolbar

The Training sample manager provides the following functionalities that assist in performing classification:

Training Sample Manager

This toolbar makes image classification tasks both faster and easier.

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