Skip To Content

Add Rasters To Mosaic Dataset


Adds raster datasets to a mosaic dataset from many sources, including a file, folder, table, or web service.


  • Raster data that is added is not managed; therefore, if the raster data is deleted or moved, the mosaic dataset will be affected.

  • You can only add rasters to a mosaic dataset contained in a geodatabase. Those created outside a geodatabase can only contain the contents of a previously created mosaic dataset.

  • The Raster Type parameter identifies metadata required for loading data into the mosaic dataset.

    Learn more about raster types

  • For faster display and processing, the pixel cache for a mosaic dataset can be generated when the Enable Pixel Cache option is selected.


AddRastersToMosaicDataset_management (in_mosaic_dataset, raster_type, input_path, {update_cellsize_ranges}, {update_boundary}, {update_overviews}, {maximum_pyramid_levels}, {maximum_cell_size}, {minimum_dimension}, {spatial_reference}, {filter}, {sub_folder}, {duplicate_items_action}, {build_pyramids}, {calculate_statistics}, {build_thumbnails}, {operation_description}, {force_spatial_reference}, {estimate_statistics}, {aux_inputs}, {enable_pixel_cache}, {cache_location})
ParameterExplanationData Type

The path and name of the mosaic dataset to which the raster data will be added.

Mosaic Layer

The raster type is specific to imagery products. It identifies metadata, such as georeferencing, acquisition date, and sensor type, along with a raster format.

For a list of raster types, see the list of supported raster dataset file formats.

If you are using a LAS, LAS Dataset, or Terrain raster type, an .art file must be used where the cell size is specified.

Raster Type

Specifies the path and name of the file, folder, raster dataset, mosaic dataset, table, or service.

Not all input choices will be available. Those available will depend on the selected raster type.

  • DatasetAllows you to select an ArcGIS geographic dataset, such as any raster or mosaic dataset in a geodatabase or table.
  • FolderAllows you to select a folder containing multiple raster datasets. The folder can contain subfolders.This option is affected by the Include Sub Folders and Input Data Filter parameters.
  • FileAllows you to select one or more raster datasets stored in a folder on disk, an image service definition file (.ISDef), and a raster process definition file (.RPDef). The file list will ignore any files that do not correspond to the raster type being added. Do not use this option with file formats that are raster datasets, such as TIFF or MrSID files—use the Dataset input type instead.
  • ServiceAllows you to select a WCS, a map, or an image service, or a web service layer file.
File; Image Service; LAS Dataset Layer; Layer File; MapServer; Mosaic Layer; Raster Layer; Table View; Terrain Layer; WCS Coverage; WMS Map; Workspace

Specifies whether the cell size ranges of each raster in the mosaic dataset will be calculated. These values are written to the attribute table in the minPS and maxPS fields.

  • UPDATE_CELL_SIZESThe cell size ranges will be calculated for all the rasters in the mosaic dataset. This is the default.
  • NO_CELL_SIZESThe cell size ranges will not be calculated.

Specifies whether the boundary polygon of a mosaic dataset will be generated or updated. By default, the boundary merges all the footprint polygons to create a single boundary representing the extent of the valid pixels.

  • UPDATE_BOUNDARYThe boundary will be generated or updated. This is the default.
  • NO_BOUNDARYThe boundary will not be generated or updated.

Specifies whether overviews for a mosaic dataset will be defined and generated.

  • UPDATE_OVERVIEWSOverviews will be defined and generated.
  • NO_OVERVIEWSOverviews will not be defined or generated. This is the default.

The maximum number of pyramid levels that will be used in the mosaic dataset. For example, a value of 2 will use only the first two pyramid levels from the source raster. Leaving this parameter blank or typing a value of -1 will build pyramids for all levels.

This value can affect the display and number of overviews that will be generated.


The maximum pyramid cell size that will be used in the mosaic dataset.


The minimum dimensions of a raster pyramid that will be used in the mosaic dataset.


The spatial reference system of the input data.

This should be specified if the data does not have a coordinate system; otherwise, the coordinate system of the mosaic dataset will be used. This can also be used to override the coordinate system of the input data.

Spatial Reference

A filter for the data being added to the mosaic dataset. You can use SQL expressions to create the data filter. The wildcards for the filter work on the full path to the input data.

The following SQL statement will select the rows in which the following object IDs match:

  • OBJECTID IN (19745, 19680, 19681, 19744, 5932, 5931, 5889, 5890, 14551, 14552, 14590, 14591)

If you want to add only a TIFF image, add an asterisk before a file extension.

  • *.TIF

If you want to add any image with the word sensor in the file path or file name, add an asterisk before and after the word sensor.

  • *sensor2009*

Or you can use PERL syntax to create a data filter.

  • REGEX: .*1923.*|.*1922.*

  • REGEX: .*192[34567].*|.*194.*|.*195.*

The following PERL syntax with multiple lexical groupings as part of the expression is not supported:

  • REGEX: .* map_mean_.*(?:(?:[a-z0-9]*)_pptPct_(?:[0-9]|1[0-2]*?)_2[0-9]_*\w*).img

Alternatively, you can use the following syntax:

  • REGEX: .*map_mean_*[a-z0-9]*_pptPct_([0-9]|1[0-2])_2[0-9]*_\w*.img


Specifies whether subfolders will be recursively explored.

  • SUBFOLDERSAll subfolders will be explored for data. This is the default.
  • NO_SUBFOLDERSOnly the top-level folder will be explored for data.

Specifies how duplicate rasters will be handled. A check will be performed to see if each raster has already been added, using the original path and file name. Choose the action to be performed when a duplicate path and file name are found.

  • ALLOW_DUPLICATESAll rasters will be added even if they already exist in the mosaic dataset. This is the default.
  • EXCLUDE_DUPLICATESThe duplicate raster will not be added.
  • OVERWRITE_DUPLICATESThe duplicate raster will overwrite the existing one.

Builds pyramids for each source raster.

  • NO_PYRAMIDSPyramids will not be built. This is the default.
  • BUILD_PYRAMIDSPyramids will be built.

Specifies whether statistics will be calculated for each source raster.

  • NO_STATISTICSStatistics will not be calculated. This is the default.
  • CALCULATE_STATISTICSStatistics will be calculated.

Specifies whether thumbnails will be built for each source raster.

  • NO_THUMBNAILSThumbnails will not be built. This is the default.
  • BUILD_THUMBNAILSThumbnails will be built.

The description used to represent the operation of adding raster data. It will be added to the raster type table, which can be used as part of a search or as a reference at another time.


Specifies the coordinate system. Use the coordinate system specified in the spatial_reference parameter for all the rasters when loading data into the mosaic dataset.

  • NO_FORCE_SPATIAL_REFERENCEKeeps the coordinate system of each raster data when loading data. This is the default.
  • FORCE_SPATIAL_REFERENCEForces the coordinate system specified in the spatial_reference parameter for each raster when loading data.

Specifies whether statistics are estimated on the mosaic dataset for faster rendering and processing at the mosaic dataset level.

  • NO_STATISTICSUses statistics generated from each item in the mosaic dataset for display and processing. This is the default.
  • ESTIMATE_STATISTICSEstimates statistics at the mosaic dataset level. This will use the distribution of pixels used to display the mosaic dataset rather than the distribution of the source item in the mosaic dataset.

The raster type settings that will be defined on the Raster Type Properties page. The settings in this parameter will override the settings defined on the Raster Type Properties page.

Value Table

Specifies whether the pixel cache will be generated for faster display and processing of the mosaic dataset.

  • NO_PIXEL_CACHEThe pixel cache will not be generated. This is the default.
  • USE_PIXEL_CACHEThe pixel cache will be generated.

The location for the pixel cache. If no location is defined, the cache is written to C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\ESRI\rasterproxies\.

Once your location is defined, you do not need to redefine the path when adding new rasters to the mosaic dataset. You only need to check the Enable Pixel Cache parameter when adding the new data.


Derived Output

NameExplanationData Type

The updated mosaic dataset.

Mosaic Layer

Code sample

AddRastersToMosaicDataset example 1 (Python window)

This is a Python sample for the AddRastersToMosaicDataset tool.

import arcpy
     "c:/data/AddMD.gdb/md_landsat", "Landsat 7 ETM+", 
     "c:/data/landsat7etm", "UPDATE_CELL_SIZES", "UPDATE_BOUNDARY",
     "UPDATE_OVERVIEWS", "2", "#", "#", "GCS_WGS_1984.prj",
     "Add Landsat L1G", "FORCE_SPATIAL_REFERENCE",
AddRastersToMosaicDataset example 2 (stand-alone script)

This is a Python script sample for the AddRastersToMosaicDataset tool.

#Add Raster Dataset type Raster to FGDB Mosaic Dataset
#Calculate Cell Size Ranges and Build Boundary
#Build Overviews for Mosaic Dataset upon the 3rd level Raster Dataset pyramid
#Apply TIFF file filter
#Build Pyramids for the source datasets

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

mdname = "AddMD.gdb/md_rasds"
rastype = "Raster Dataset"
inpath = "c:/data/rasds"
updatecs = "UPDATE_CELL_SIZES"
updatebnd = "UPDATE_BOUNDARY"
updateovr = "UPDATE_OVERVIEWS"
maxlevel = "2"
maxcs = "#"
maxdim = "#"
spatialref = "#"
inputdatafilter = "*.tif"
subfolder = "NO_SUBFOLDERS"
buildpy = "BUILD_PYRAMIDS"
buildthumb = "NO_THUMBNAILS"
comments = "Add Raster Datasets"
forcesr = "#"
estimatestats = "ESTIMATE_STATISTICS"
auxilaryinput = ""
enablepixcache = "USE_PIXEL_CACHE"
cachelocation = "c:\\test\\cachelocation"

     mdname,  rastype, inpath, updatecs, updatebnd, updateovr,
     maxlevel, maxcs, maxdim, spatialref, inputdatafilter,
     subfolder, duplicate, buildpy, calcstats, 
     buildthumb, comments, forcesr, estimatestats
auxilaryinput, enablepixcache, cachelocation)

Licensing information

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

Related topics