Mosaic dataset properties

There are three groups of properties for a mosaic dataset: General, Default, and Multidimensional Info.

You can access the Mosaic Dataset Properties dialog box via the Catalog pane by right-clicking the mosaic dataset and clicking Properties. Here, you can make modifications to these properties. You can edit the values on the dialog box by clicking the value next to the property. You can either type a different value or make a selection from a list. You can also use the Set Mosaic Dataset Properties tool to modify the properties.

Any properties set on the mosaic layer in the Contents pane only apply to the layer and are not stored with the mosaic dataset, such as the band combination or mosaic method. Therefore, if there are multiple users of the mosaic dataset, they are not impacted by a layer setting used by another user. This is the same behavior as any dataset and layer.

The properties on the Multidimensional Info tab list the variable name with its associated dimensions in parentheses. Under the variable heading, you can see the Property, Description, and Unit values of the variable. The dimensions associated with the variable are listed in subgroups. You can view the Property, Description, and Unit values of the dimension, along with the dimension interval, the minimum and maximum values of the dimension, the total number of steps in the dimension, and the values themselves. For more information, see An overview of multidimensional data in a mosaic dataset.

General properties

The General properties tab contains information specific to the storage format and other information used to support the format and display the data.

Data Source

The Data Source section describes the raster dataset's name, type, and file location or server information.

If viewing the properties for a raster product, no data source information will be displayed.

Raster information

The Raster information section lists the raster-specific properties, including the following:

  • Number of columns and rows (of pixels)
  • Number of bands
  • Cell size (x,y)
  • Uncompressed size
  • Format
  • Source type
  • Pixel type (unsigned/signed, integer/floating point)
  • Pixel depth/Bit depth (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64)
  • NoData value
  • Colormap (present/absent)
  • Pyramids
  • Compression type
  • Mensuration Capabilities
  • Geodata transformation (defined/undefined)

The Source Type controls how the data is rendered by default.

  • Generic—Uses the application defaults for resampling and stretching.
  • Elevation—Applies bilinear resampling and a Min-Max stretch.
  • Thematic—Applies nearest neighbor resampling and a Standard Deviation stretch.
  • Processed—No stretch is applied.
  • Scientific—Uses the Multipart Color Scheme to display the data.
  • Vector-UV—Uses the U and V components in the vector field renderer.
  • Vector-MagDir—Uses the magnitude and direction in the vector field renderer.
  • Vector-Magnitude—Uses the magnitude in the vector field renderer.
  • Vector-Direction—Uses the direction in the vector field renderer.

The Mensuration Capabilities are determined by the data source and grouped into these five categories:

  • BasicThe Distance, Area, Point Location, and Centroid Location mensuration tools can be used. These tools will be available with all the other options, except None.
  • 3D—The measurements made using the tools available with the Basic option can be modified using a DEM.
  • Height—The sensor model exists for datasets within the mosaic dataset; therefore, the Height: Using Base To Top mensuration tool can be used.
  • Shadow—The sensor model and sun angle information exists for datasets within the mosaic dataset; therefore, the Height: Using Base To Top, Height: Using Base To Top Shadow, and Height: Using Top To Top Shadow mensuration tools can be used.
  • None—The user will not be able to use the mensuration tools in ArcGIS with this dataset.

The Geodata Transform property specifies whether a geodata transformation has been defined for the raster. A transformation in a raster dataset defines how the pixels will be transformed when displayed or accessed as well as the output spatial reference of the raster dataset after the transformation is applied (rectified). A geodata transform is the mathematical model that geometrically transforms the pixels. Each transformation can be defined through a set of parameters used by a geodata transform.

Band Metadata

The Band Metadata section provides information for each band in the raster. Raster products will include information such as the color name, wavelength range, the radiance gain, radiance bias, and solar irradiance. All other raster datasets will only contain the band index value.


The Extent section describes the rectangle or boundary containing the raster dataset. The top, bottom, left, and right coordinates of the rectangle are listed in the same spatial reference units in which the raster is stored.

Spatial Reference

The raster dataset's coordinate system is described in the Spatial Reference section. All the spatial reference's parameters are listed. A raster dataset can have an undefined coordinate system.

Click the Spatial Reference button Spatial Reference to define the spatial reference in the Properties window.


The Statistics section lists the statistics for each band in the raster:

  • Minimum pixel value
  • Maximum pixel value
  • Mean pixel value
  • Standard deviation
  • Number of classes

To calculate statistics for a raster dataset, use the Calculate Statistics tool.

Default properties

The properties on the Default tab affect the default display and analysis behavior of the mosaic dataset and can also impact the performance of the server or image service if the mosaic dataset is published. When publishing a mosaic dataset using ArcGIS Server, the server administrator can modify some of these properties as part of the settings on the image service; however, they cannot exceed the maximums you have set. For example, if you limit the allowed mosaic methods to only three of the methods, the administrator cannot add a fourth method. Or, if you set the maximum number of downloadable items, they can reduce the number but not increase this number. If you change the properties to exceed or limit a value, such as Maximum Size Of Requests, you need to republish the mosaic dataset. If you restart the image service, the changed properties in the mosaic dataset are not enabled.

Catalog properties


Starting at ArcGIS Pro 2.3, the Raster and URI BLOB fields of the mosaic dataset catalog are compressed before they are written to the geodatabase mosaic dataset catalog table. Compressing these fields saves space and reduces network and disk input and output.

You cannot read the catalog records of a mosaic dataset that contains compressed values if you use a version earlier than ArcGIS Pro 1.3. If you cannot read compressed Raster and URI fields, the imagery of these rows will not display, or you may see the error Invalid pointer function parameter [AMD_<md>_CAT], where <md> is the name of a mosaic dataset.

In this case, you need to set the system environment variable USE_COMPRESSED_OBJECTS to either N, n, FALSE, false, or 0. This turns off the compression of the Raster and URI BLOB fields before they are written to the geodatabase mosaic dataset catalog table.

Image properties

The following properties specify the format, size, and processing methods for your mosaic dataset:

  • Maximum Size Of Requests—This property only applies when the mosaic dataset is published and accessed as an image service. The size is defined as the maximum number of rows and columns for each mosaicked image generated. By increasing these numbers, you increase the time it takes to process the mosaicked image. However, you may want to increase these numbers if you are printing very large, high-resolution plots. By making these numbers too small, a mosaicked image may not display. For example, if you changed the numbers to 10, the display window dimension can only be 10 pixels or smaller.
  • Allowed Compression Methods—Defines the method of compression used to transmit the mosaicked image from the server to the client. This property affects an image service generated from the mosaic dataset. If accessing the image service over a LAN, large data volumes do not cause a problem. However, when working over slower connections on the internet, it may be better to apply a compression to the imagery before transmission. This compression reduces the size of transmitted imagery but puts an additional load on the server to compress the data first. This can be altered by the client.
    • None—No compression is applied to the imagery, which provides the highest quality but results in the maximum volume of data transfer across the network.
    • LZ77—An efficient lossless compression method recommended for imagery with similar pixel values (discrete data), such as scanned maps or results of classifications.
    • JPEG—An efficient compression method that can often compress imagery by about three to eight times with little degradation of the image quality. When choosing the JPEG method, you can also edit the quality by typing a value from 0 to 100. A value of 80 tends to retain image quality while providing approximately 8x compression.
    • LERC—An efficient lossy compression method recommended for data with a large pixel depth, such as float, 32-bit, 16-bit, or 12-bit data. When choosing this method, you need to specify the quality value, which represents the maximum error value that is applicable per pixel (not an average for the image). This value is specified in the units of the mosaic dataset. For example, if the error is 10 centimeters and the mosaic dataset is in meters, enter 0.1.

      LERC compresses better (5 to 10 times) and faster (5 to 10 times) than LZ77 for float data and is better with integer data. When using integer data, and the error limit specified is 0.99 or less, LERC behaves as a lossless compression.

  • Default Resampling Method—Defines the default sampling method of the pixels, which are sampled to match the resolution of the user's display (or client request if published). The use or input of the data impacts the method you choose. This is also a property that is set on the mosaic dataset layer (or image service layer) and you can change the setting on your layers—which does not change the mosaic dataset's default.

    More accurate radiometry values are obtained using nearest neighbor sampling. This is generally faster but can result in jagged edges of features. Bilinear interpolation provides smoother images but can result in some smoothing of the image. Bilinear is recommended for continuous raster data. Cubic convolution is geometrically more accurate but slightly slower than bilinear interpolation. Majority is best applied to discrete data.

  • Maximum Number Of Rasters Per Mosaic—Prevents the server from mosaicking an unreasonably large number of rasters if, for example, the client zooms in to an overview scale in a nonoptimized image service dataset that has no overview tiles generated. The default is 20.
  • Cell Size Tolerance Factor—Used for controlling how mosaic dataset items with differing pixel sizes are grouped together for some operations, such as mosaicking or seamline generation. A factor of 0.1 means that all the LowPS values that are 10 percent larger than the lowest pixel size are considered to be the same. This value must be greater than or equal to 0.0. The results can be viewed in the Levels table (to access, right-click the mosaic dataset in the table of contents and click Open > Levels Table).
  • Allowed Mosaic Methods—Defines the order of the rasters that are mosaicked together to create the image. You can choose one or more mosaic methods and specify one as the default method. The user can choose from the methods you select.

    • Closest to Center—Enables rasters to be sorted based on the ZOrder, then PixelSize, and then by a default order where rasters that have their centers closest to the view center are placed on top.
    • Closest to Nadir—Enables rasters to be sorted by the ZOrder, then PixelSize, and then by distance between the nadir position and view center. This is similar to the Closest to Center method but uses the nadir point to a raster, which may be different than the center, especially for oblique imagery.
    • Closest to Viewpoint—Orders rasters based on the ZOrder, then PixelSize, and then by a user-defined location and nadir location for the rasters using the Viewpoint tool.
    • By Attribute—Enables raster ordering based on the ZOrder, then PixelSize, and then by the defined metadata attribute and its difference from a base value.
    • North-West—Enables raster ordering by the ZOrder, then PixelSize, and then by the shortest distance between the center of a raster and the northwest position.
    • Seamline—Cuts the raster using the predefined seamline shape for each raster, using optional feathering along the seams, and orders images based on the ZOrder and then the SOrder fields in the attribute table.
    • Lock Raster—Enables a user to lock the display of single or multiple rasters based on the ObjectID.
    • None—Orders rasters based on the order (ObjectID) in the mosaic dataset attribute table.


    The result of the mosaic method can be impacted by the ZOrder, which is used in determining how the rasters are mosaicked together when using the Closest To Center, North-West, By Attribute, Closest To Nadir, or Closest To Viewpoint mosaic methods. With these mosaic methods, the rasters are always sorted by their ZOrder first.

  • Default Sorting Order—Controls the expected ordering of the images defined by the mosaic methods. Ascending orders the images as expected. Descending reverses the order. For example, if the mosaic method is Closest To Center and Descending is chosen, the image furthest from the center is displayed.
  • Default Mosaic Operator—Allows you to define how to resolve the overlapping cells, such as choosing a blending operation.
    • First—The overlapping areas will contain the cells from the first raster dataset listed in the source.
    • Last—The overlapping areas will contain the cells from the last raster dataset listed in the source.
    • Min—The overlapping areas will contain the minimum cell values from all the overlapping cells.
    • Max—The overlapping areas will contain the maximum cell values from all the overlapping cells.
    • Mean—The overlapping areas will contain the mean cell values from all the overlapping cells.
    • Blend—The overlapping areas will be a blend of the cell values that overlap along the edge of each raster dataset in the mosaicked image. By default, the edge is defined by the footprint or the seamline for each raster.
    • Sum—The overlapping areas will contain the total cell values from all the overlapping cells.
  • Blend Width—Defines the distance in pixels (at the display scale) used by the Blend mosaic operator.

    This value is divided in half across the edge; therefore, if the value is 40, 20 pixels are blended inside of the footprint, and 20 pixels are blended outside of the footprint.

    If seamlines are present, a blending width and type can be defined for each seamline in the seamline table, thereby overriding this value.

  • Viewpoint Settings—When the Closest to Viewpoint mosaic method is used, these settings are applied:
    • Viewpoint x and y spacing—Defines an offset that is used to calculate where the center of the area of interest (display view) is when you click an arrow button on the Viewpoint dialog box. These values are calculated in the units of the spatial reference system of the mosaic dataset.
  • Always Clip The Raster To Its Footprint—You can choose whether to limit the extent of each raster to its footprint.
  • Footprints May Contain NoData—You can choose whether the NoData is a valid pixel value. If Yes, if the mosaic method uses rasters that contain NoData, the mosaicked image contains NoData values (and the application does not search for an overlapping raster that contains different pixel values). If No, the application finds values to fill in the NoData using overlapping rasters.
  • Always Clip The Mosaic Dataset To Its Boundary—You can choose to limit the image extent to the geometry of the boundary or to the extent of the boundary. When set to Yes, it limits the image extent to the geometry of the boundary. When set to No, it clips the image extent to the extent of the boundary.
  • Apply Color Correction—If there is a color correction method in place for the mosaic dataset, you can choose to apply it when using the Closest to Viewpoint mosaic method.
  • Minimum Pixel Contribution—You can choose the tolerance for the minimum pixel contribution. This defines the minimum number of pixels needed within the area of interest for a mosaic dataset item to be considered part of that area. The default value is one pixel. A large value may decrease the likelihood of having an overlapping item being part of the area of interest; this may cause some areas of your mosaic dataset to be empty. This property is only valid when Always Clip The Raster To Its Footprint is set to Yes and Footprints May Contain NoData is set to No. This property is only helpful when you have multiple overlapping rasters in your mosaic dataset.

Catalog properties

The following options specify which metadata is visible to the client and limits how the mosaic dataset is returned by the server:

  • Raster Metadata Level—Defines how much metadata is transmitted from the server to the client. This can affect the transmission time when there is a lot of metadata to transmit; therefore, you may choose to limit it. To do so, choose from the following options:
    • Full—The basic raster dataset information and the function chain's details are transmitted. This is the default.
    • Basic—The raster dataset level of information is transmitted, such as the columns and rows, cell size, and spatial reference information.
    • None—No metadata is transmitted.
  • Maximum Number Of Records Returned Per Request—Limits the requested number of records that are returned by the server when viewing the mosaic dataset as a published image service.
  • Allowed Fields—Defines which fields from the attribute table are visible to the client when the mosaic dataset is served.
  • Geographic Coordinate System Transformation—If the spatial reference system of the mosaic dataset is based on a different spheroid than the spatial reference system of the source raster data, you may need to specify a specific geographic transformation. This parameter gives you access to a dialog box to help you pick the geographic transformation. For more information on transformation methods, see Geographic Transformations (Environment setting).

Time Properties

The time properties specify the default behavior for the mosaic dataset with respect to time.

Time—If the mosaic dataset contains attribute fields that define time, you can create a mosaic dataset that is automatically time aware, meaning the time properties in the layer are honored by the time slider and the Time tab. You can define the field for the start time and end time and the time format. It is recommended that you store time values in a date field; however, string and numeric fields are also supported.

Vertical dimension properties

The vertical dimension properties specify the default behavior for the mosaic dataset with respect to a vertical dimension such as height, depth, or pressure.

  • Use Range—Check this box to include a vertical dimension.
  • Vertical Dimension Field—Specify the field in the mosaic dataset footprint table that contains the vertical dimension values.

Download properties

The download properties limit the data size for items that can be downloaded for each request:

  • Maximum number of items downloadable per request—Limits the number of rasters that a client can download from an image service. You may want to set this to 0 if you do not want a client to download any rasters from within your mosaic dataset. Optionally, this value can affect the load. You may want to adjust this number depending on how you want clients to use their image services.


    Source files stored using the Grid raster format cannot be downloaded.

  • Maximum Download Size Per Request—This is the total number of megabytes that can be downloaded at one time.

Multidimensional Info

Multidimensional raster datasets and multidimensional mosaic datasets have the Multidimensional Info tab containing information about the variables and dimensions included in the dataset. Any dataset with the Multidimensional Info properties can be visualized and processed with the tools and capabilities in the Multidimensional tab.


The information displayed on the Multidimensional Info tab (if available) includes the following for each variable in the dataset:

  • Variable name
  • Description
  • Unit
  • Presence or absence of a colormap
  • Dimension name
  • Dimension description
  • Dimension unit
  • Dimension interval
  • Minimum and maximum dimension values
  • Count of slices
  • List of dimension values


In the Properties section, you can set the default variable for display and analysis.

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