Create Raster Catalog (Data Management)


Creates an empty raster catalog in a geodatabase.



CreateRasterCatalog_management (out_path, out_name, {raster_spatial_reference}, {spatial_reference}, {config_keyword}, {spatial_grid_1}, {spatial_grid_2}, {spatial_grid_3}, {raster_management_type}, {template_raster_catalog})
ParameterExplanationData Type

The geodatabase to contain the raster catalog. This can be any type of geodatabase: personal, file, or ArcSDE.


The name of the raster catalog to be created.


The coordinate system for the raster column in the raster catalog.

The spatial reference of the raster column is used during data loading as

  • A default spatial reference for those raster datasets that have an unknown spatial reference
  • A target spatial reference if you choose to project your raster datasets that have different spatial references from the raster column

The default value is the coordinate system set in the environment settings.

Coordinate System

The coordinate system for the geometry column.

The spatial reference for the geometry column defines the spatial reference of the footprints of the raster datasets.

The default value is the coordinate system set in the environment settings.

Spatial Reference

Specifies the storage parameters (configuration) for a file geodatabase and an ArcSDE geodatabase. Personal geodatabases do not use configuration keywords.

ArcSDE configuration keywords are set up by your database administrator.


The Output Spatial Grid 1, 2, and 3 parameters are used to compute a spatial index and only apply to file geodatabases and ArcSDE geodatabases. If you are unfamiliar with setting grid sizes, leave these options as 0,0,0 and ArcGIS will compute optimal sizes for you.

If you use the default spatial grid index (of zero), it is recommended that you load data using the Workspace To Raster Catalog tool. If that tool is used to load raster datasets, the spatial grid size will be automatically calculated. If another tool is used to load raster datasets into a raster catalog, the Calculate Default Spatial Grid Index tool needs to be used after the loading is completed.

For more information about this parameter, refer to the Add Spatial Index tool documentation.


Cell size of the second spatial grid. Leave the size at 0 if you only want one grid. Otherwise, set the size to at least three times larger than Spatial Grid 1.


Cell size of the third spatial grid. Leave the size at 0 if you only want two grids. Otherwise, set the size to at least three times larger than Spatial Grid 2.


Raster datasets within raster catalogs can be managed in two ways: managed or unmanaged (by the geodatabase).

  • MANAGEDWith a managed raster catalog, the raster datasets inside the raster catalog will be physically stored within the geodatabase. When a row (or raster) is deleted from the catalog, it is deleted from the geodatabase
  • UNMANAGEDWith an unmanaged raster catalog, the raster catalog only contains links or pointers connecting a row to a raster dataset stored outside the geodatabase. All raster datasets loaded into an unmanaged raster catalog must be a file on disk.

If you want to base your new raster catalog on a template, you can specify a template raster catalog. The new raster catalog will then have the same fields as the template raster catalog.

Raster Catalog Layer

Code Sample

CreateRasterCatalog example 1 (Python window)

This is a Python sample for the CreateRasterCatalog tool.

import arcpy
arcpy.CreateRasterCatalog_management("c:/data/CreateRC.gdb", "fgdb_unman",
                                     "Albers_Conical.prj", "Albers_Conical.prj",
                                     "MAX_FILE_SIZE_4GB", "1000", "3000", "9000",
                                     "UNMANAGED", "")

CreateRasterCatalog example 2 (stand-alone window)

This is a Python script sample for the CreateRasterCatalog tool.

##Create Raster Catalog
##Usage: CreateRasterCatalog_management out_path out_name {raster_spatial_reference} {spatial_reference} {config_keyword} 
##                                      {spatial_grid_1} {spatial_grid_2} {spatial_grid_3} {MANAGED | UNMANAGED}  
##                                      {template_raster_catalog;template_raster_catalog...}
    import arcpy
    arcpy.env.workspace = r"C:\PrjWorkspace"
    ##Create PGDB Unmanaged Raster Catalog
    arcpy.CreateRasterCatalog_management("CreateRC.mdb", "Unmanaged", "Albers_Conical.prj", "Albers_Conical.prj", "", "12000", "", "", \
                                         "UNMANAGED", "")
    ##Create FGDB Unmanaged Raster Catalog
    arcpy.CreateRasterCatalog_management("CreateRC.gdb", "Unmanaged", "Albers_Conical.prj", "Albers_Conical.prj", "MAX_FILE_SIZE_4GB", \
                                            "1000", "3000", "9000", "UNMANAGED", "")
    ##Create SDE Managed Raster Catalog with FGDB template
    arcpy.CreateRasterCatalog_management("SDE94.sde", "Managed", "Albers_Conical.prj", "Albers_Conical.prj", "DEFAULTS","2000", "6000", \
                                            "18000", "MANAGED", "CreateRC.mdb\\Unmanaged;CreateRC.gdb\\Unmanaged")
    print "Create Raster Catalog example failed."
    print arcpy.GetMessages()


Output Coordinate System

This environment, if set, is used for the parameters Coordinate System for the raster column and Coordinate System for the geometry column.

Related Topics

Licensing Information

ArcView: Yes
ArcEditor: Yes
ArcInfo: Yes