Raster and mosaic layer files

Layer files define how your data is displayed. A layer is created by default when you add your raster dataset, raster catalog, or mosaic dataset to ArcMap, ArcGlobe, or ArcScene. When you alter the display properties on the layer's Properties dialog box, you can adjust many different properties, such as the symbology and some display properties such as resampling and transparency, the visible extent, or the visible scale. By saving a layer file for a raster dataset, raster catalog, or mosaic dataset, you can save the layer properties you set when displaying a particular raster. For example:

You can also save a group layer that contains raster datasets or raster catalogs. For example, you can have a group layer that contains basemap information combined with a raster dataset displaying elevation level, with transparency set to allow another raster to show through, such as an orthophotograph. You can save this group layer with all the layer properties to use in another map.

You can save layers within the ArcGIS Desktop applications or using geoprocessing tools. To save a layer within ArcCatalog or the Catalog window, see Saving a raster layer file in ArcCatalog. To save a layer within the other applications, see Saving a raster layer file in ArcMap, ArcScene, or ArcGlobe. There are several geoprocessing tools to assist you in creating layers for raster datasets, raster catalogs, mosaic datasets, image services, and Web Coverage Services (WCS). The layers created by the tool are temporary and will not persist after the ArcGIS Desktop application session ends unless the document is saved. These tools are as follows:

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