Add raster datasets as attributes in a feature class

A geodatabase feature class or table can have an attribute field that contains a raster dataset. Unlike a hyperlink that simply links a feature to an image, an attribute field of type Raster stores the raster data in the geodatabase. For example, you can add a photograph of the commercial property as an attribute of a parcel feature.


A shapefile cannot contain an attribute field to hold raster datasets. In this case, you need to use a hyperlink.

The following are the general steps to add a raster dataset to a field in a feature class:

  1. Add a field of type Raster to the attribute table.
  2. Edit the field to insert the raster dataset.

All supported raster dataset formats are available, but it is recommended that you use only small pictures for this field. Only one field of type Raster can be used in each table. To associate more than one raster to a feature, you need to use another table with related fields.


Adding or modifying fields of type Raster in an enterprise geodatabase requires an ArcGIS Pro Standard or ArcGIS Pro Advanced license.

Add a field of type Raster

To add a field of type Raster, complete the following steps:

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the feature class and click Attribute Table.

    The attribute table for the feature class appears.

  2. In the attribute table, click the Add Field button.

    The Fields view and Fields tab open. The Fields view is used to manage the fields associated with a layer or table. In this view, you can edit the fields of a layer or table, modify their properties, delete fields, and create fields.

  3. Set Data Type to Raster.
  4. Optionally, provide an alias for the field.
  5. On the Fields tab, click Save.
  6. Close the Fields view.

Update the Raster field

To update the Raster field, complete the following steps:

  1. Add the feature class containing the Raster field.
  2. Select the feature to add the raster to.

    You can use the interactive Select tool or select the record in the attribute table.

  3. On the Map tab, click the Attributes button.
  4. In the Attributes pane, click the Load Content button for the Raster field.

    The Load Raster Data dialog box appears.

  5. Browse to the raster that you want to add.
  6. Optionally, set Compression Type and Compression Quality values.
  7. Click Apply.
  8. You can remove the raster from the field using the Clear Content button.
  9. Save the edits to the feature class.

    This can be done from the Manage Edits group on the Edit tab, consistent with other types of edits made to the feature class such as adding new fields and adding new features.

  10. If there are unsaved edits when you close ArcGIS Pro, a prompt appears asking if the edits should be saved.

Related topics