how to clip a DEM with/to a shapefile?

12-09-2012 12:00 PM
New Contributor

I created a DEM by taking a shapefile of points, and processing it in the Spatial Analyst IDW interpolation tool. The result is a raster image with 10 raster bands (which, however, if I drag from the catalog into the layer, is black and white). I need to take this raster image, which is in the shape of a square, and clip it with a shapefile, that is the boundary of a forest. When I try to use the clip function from the geoprocessing menu, it doesn't allow me to drag in the raster image. I tried several other tools, like extracting by masking, and it doesn't give me what I need. I need the square raster image to be the shape of my shapefile.

How do I do this?

Thank you
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5 Replies
Occasional Contributor III
One way is to use forest layer as a raster analysis mask.

To set up this in IDW tool dialog window click Environments button on the bottom.
Go to Raster Analysis section and choose desired layer in Mask parameter.
The resulting raster should be 'clipped' to the shapes of chosen layer.

The resulting raster is by default symbolized with classes in ArcMap. When you add it again from Catalog window it's symbolized with Streched renderer. To control the rendering of a raster go to Symbology tab of Raster Layer Properties.
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Esri Regular Contributor
There is the Clip tool in ArcToolbox or as alluded to there is the Extract by Mask.  Since you said something about dragging the layer, I assume you are using the non raster clip.  I would look at the heading under Data Management > Raster > Raster Processing for the correct tool.
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New Contributor III

You can use Extract by Mask tool, it's here clip DEM with a polygon shapefile  clip DEM by polygon in ArcGIS - YouTube 

New Contributor II

Thanks a lot ! I used the clip function to have a DEM with the shape of my basin but it didn t work.. But with extract by mask tool it works ! 

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Occasional Contributor III


From a 'most recent data format' perspective you should use your DEM Raster as a mosaic dataset (of type elevation, which will be useful in other ways like stretching, ... see documentation). Your boundary shaepfile can then be loaded into the mosaic as just that - the boundary - and you are all set for analysis

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