Build Boundary (Data Management)


Updates the extent of the boundary when adding new raster datasets to a mosaic dataset that extend beyond its previous coverage.


Boundary and footprints of a mosaic dataset


  • Boundaries can only be generated for mosaic datasets stored within a geodatabase.

  • If you remove or add rasters, or modify the extent of the footprints, you should use this tool to rebuild the boundary.

  • If you modify the shape of the boundary polygon (using editing tools), you can use this tool to recreate the original (unmodified) boundary.


BuildBoundary(in_mosaic_dataset, {where_clause}, {append_to_existing}, {simplification_method})
ParameterExplanationData Type

Select the mosaic dataset where you want to recompute the boundary.

Mosaic Layer

An SQL query to compute a boundary for select raster datasets. Use this option in conjunction with setting the append_to_existing parameter to APPEND to save time when adding new raster datasets.

SQL Expression

Set this to APPEND when adding new raster datasets to an existing mosaic dataset. Instead of calculating the entire boundary, APPEND will merge the boundary of the new raster datasets with the existing boundary.

  • OVERWRITERecompute the boundary in its entirety.
  • APPENDAppend the perimeter of footprints to the existing boundary. This can save time when adding additional raster data to the mosaic dataset, as the entire boundary will not be recalculated. If there are rasters selected, the boundary will be recalculated to include only the selected footprints. This is the default.

The simplification method reduces the number of vertices, since a dense boundary can affect performance.

Choose which simplification method to use to simplify the boundary.

  • NONENo simplification method will be implemented. This is the default.
  • CONVEX_HULLThe minimum bounding geometry of the mosaic dataset will be used to simplify the boundary. If there are any footprints that are disconnected, a minimum bounding geometry for each continuous group of footprints will be used to simplify the boundary.
  • ENVELOPEThe envelope of the mosaic dataset will provide a simplified boundary. If there are any footprints that are disconnected, an envelope for each continuous group of footprints will be used to simplify the boundary.

Derived Output

NameExplanationData Type

The updated mosaic dataset.

Mosaic Layer

Code sample

BuildBoundary example (Python window)

This is a Python sample for the BuildBoundary tool.

import arcpy
arcpy.BuildBoundary_management("c:/workspace/Boundary.gdb/md", "#", 
                               "APPEND", "CONVEX_HULL")
BuildBoundary example 2 (stand-alone script)

This is a Python script for the BuildBoundary tool.

# Build boundary only for the Quickbird data

import arcpy
arcpy.env.workspace = "C:/Workspace"

mdname = "boundary.gdb/md"
query = "SensorName = 'QuickBird'"
mode = "OVERWRITE"
simplify = "#"

arcpy.BuildBoundary_management(mdname, query, mode, simplify)

Licensing information

  • Basic: No
  • Standard: Yes
  • Advanced: Yes

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