ArcGIS tool of the day: Create Fishnet to subdivide an area

Yesterday I had these ArcGIS queries from users:

  • “I’d like a parcel to have a grid on it with each square measuring 2×3 meters….. is there a way of doing it other than manually?”
  • “I want to do random spatially stratified sampling and to delineate my strata I want to put a regular grid over the study area. How can I do that?”

Both these tasks can be solved with the Create Fishnet tool. This tool is suitable for zoning any area into regular rectangular divisions. Potential applications include:

  • creating Search and Rescue zones or assessment zones (thinking of MapAction)
  • create a systematic sampling grid
  • create a reference grid

A similar tool is the Grid Index Features tool, this is used to create an index layer for ArcGIS Data Driven Pages.