Creating raster datasets in a geodatabase

When you create a raster dataset in a geodatabase, you are creating an empty location to contain a raster dataset. You can then add a raster dataset to the empty location by copying or mosaicking one or more raster datasets into your empty one. You can also use this dataset with the geoprocessing tools or ArcGIS Spatial Analyst operations to receive results.

A raster dataset can be created in any type of geodatabase—personal, file, or ArcSDE—or on its own on disk, such as a TIFF file. You can create a raster dataset using the context menu in ArcCatalog or using the Create Raster Dataset tool. To learn about the raster dataset file types that you can create, see Supported raster dataset file formats.

  1. Right-click a geodatabase and click New > Raster Dataset.
  2. Type the name of the new raster dataset.

    No extension is needed, since it will be stored within a geodatabase.


    Geodatabases do not allow spaces in the file name.

  3. Set the Cell Size of the geodatabase raster dataset.
  4. Set the Pixel Type for the geodatabase raster dataset.
  5. Click the Spatial Reference for Raster button Spatial Reference Properties to set the spatial coordinate system.

    If you define a cube as the raster dataset spatial reference, the predefined pyramid origin is used, so the geodatabase settings for the pyramid option are ignored. If the cell size is specified, it is snapped to one of the predefined cell sizes that is closest to the specified cell size. If the cell size is not specified, it is determined by the cell size of the first dataset mosaicked into it; it will be one of the predefined cell sizes that is closest to the cell size of the first dataset that is projected to cube.

  6. Type the Number of Bands that the raster dataset will contain.
  7. Optionally, you can configure the geodatabase parameters by clicking the arrows to expand the Geodatabase Settings. Here you can set a configuration keyword, choose the pyramid parameters, set the tile size, choose the compression parameters, and set the pyramid reference point.
  8. Click OK.

The pyramid reference point is an offset that you can create if you plan on mosaicking large raster datasets. The pyramid reference point should be set to the upper left corner of your raster mosaic. When set properly, partial pyramid updating is performed, updating the parts of the pyramid that do not exist (to the lower right of the pyramid reference point). Otherwise, the entire pyramid layer has to be created, which can be time consuming.

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