Multidimensional data represents geophysical, environmental, climatological, or atmospheric phenomena that occur over space (two dimensional), time (another dimension), or height or depth (two more dimensions). Sometimes described as a data cube, image cube, or multidimensional raster, these datasets can also contain multiple variables such as precipitation, soil moisture, and temperature. Multidimensional raster data can be generated from satellite observations captured at different time intervals, or it can be generated from numerical models that aggregate, interpolate, or simulate data from other sources.
Because multidimensional data is complex, it can be difficult to extract actionable information from it. ArcGIS provides tools and user experiences to help you analyze multidimensional data.
Intuitive user experiences such as the contextual tab in ArcGIS Pro or the interactive experiences in Map Viewer in ArcGIS Online allow you to work with multiple variables and step through time and depth dimensions. Functions and tools for analyzing multidimensional data allow you to aggregate data by time, height, or depth (yearly averages, for example); generate multidimensional anomalies in which each slice shows the deviations from the global average; generate trend rasters and perform predictive modeling; or build a multidimensional transpose to optimize performance when accessing data along dimensions. You can also quickly chart multidimensional data using the temporal profile, including spatial aggregation and charting trends, and the dimension profile.
Additionally, ArcPy and ArcGIS API for Python support developer (and automated) workflows. To scale your workflows, all of these capabilities are also available in ArcGIS Enterprise.
Explore the following resources to learn more about analyzing multidimensional data in ArcGIS. (Not sure where to start? Look for the star by Esri's most helpful resources.)
Note:In ArcGIS Pro, all multidimensional imagery analysis tools are available through ArcGIS Image Analyst, and a subset of these tools is available with ArcGIS Spatial Analyst. You can scale your analysis using ArcGIS Image Server for ArcGIS Enterprise or use a complete SaaS environment with ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online.
Imagery Workflows resources
Review the community-supported tools and best practices for working with and automating imagery and remote sensing workflows:
- Follow a tutorial analyzing sea surface temperature using multidimensional analysis tools in ArcGIS Pro.*
Review the following links on reference materials for ArcGIS products:
- Learn what multidimensional raster data means.*
- Read about working with a multidimensional raster layer.
- Read an overview of the Multidimensional Analysis toolset.
- Learn about dimension profile charts (used to visualize change) and the temporal profile charts (used to visualize temporal trends) in ArcGIS Pro.
- Learn how to configure multidimensional settings in ArcGIS Online so you can specify the slices you want to analyze.
- Learn about the multidimensional raster tools included in ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online.
- Learn about the multidimensional analysis tools included in ArcGIS Image Server, such as Aggregate Multidimensional Raster, Find Argument Statistics, and Generate Trend Raster.
ArcGIS blogs, articles, story maps, and technical papers
Review the following supplemental guidance about concepts, software functionality, and workflows:
- Read about using monthly global precipitation from 1900 to 2017 to analyze and predict precipitation trends around the globe.*
- Read about the multidimensional analysis tools introduced in ArcGIS Pro 2.4, ArcGIS Pro 2.5, and ArcGIS Pro 2.6.
- Learn how climate affects wine production and bird behavior using multidimensional analysis.
- Learn how to create multidimensional raster data.
- Read a blog that details how to use multidimensional data for change detection in the Amazon floodplains.
Review the following Esri-produced videos that clarify and demonstrate concepts, software functionality, and workflows:
- Watch an overview of multidimensional analysis and visualization tools introduced in ArcGIS Pro 2.5 for tasks such as data aggregation, anomaly detection, trend analysis, and predictive analysis. (8 minutes)*
- See how to use multidimensional analysis web tools in ArcGIS Online. (6 minutes)
- Watch examples of multidimensional data management and spatial and temporal analyses in ArcGIS and how to extend them using Python. (1 hour)*
- See how principal component analysis can be used for multidimensional data. (4 minutes)
- Learn about multidimensional analysis capabilities introduced in ArcGIS Pro 2.4, including geoprocessing tools, ArcPy, and raster functions. (4 minutes)
- Watch how to create and manage multidimensional rasters from Gribs, NetCDFs, and other formats in ArcGIS Pro. (5 minutes)
- See how you can create and manage collections of time-series data in ArcGIS Pro. (8 minutes)
Training and tutorials
Review the following guided lessons and tutorials based on real-world problems and key ArcGIS skills:
- Use multidimensional data to predict coral bleaching events, model weather conditions over time for oil leasing sites, and monitor forest changes temporally.
- Visualize social distancing across California as a multidimensional voxel layer.
- Analyze the effects of climate change using multidimensional data with Python.
- Take a web course to learn how to incorporate scientific data and models into common GIS workflows.
- Take an ArcGIS Lab using ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online to locate anomalous sea temperatures and identify possible coral bleaching using multidimensional data.
Review the following resources and support for automating and customizing workflows:
- Read about ArcPy functions for multidimensional analysis.
- Read about ArcGIS REST API-dependent raster analysis services, including Aggregate Multidimensional Raster, Analyze Change Using CCDC, Build Multidimensional Transpose, Generate Multidimensional Anomaly, Generate Trend Raster, and Subset Multidimensional Raster.
- Read about using ArcGIS API for Python for multidimensional and raster analysis.
Use the online imagery community to connect, collaborate, and share experiences:
- Visit the Esri Imagery and Remote Sensing community to connect, collaborate, and share experiences regarding analyzing multidimensional data.