I am using a geodatabase raster catalog to hold raster files for multiple countries, mostly for the sake of organization. I don't actually have the need (often) to visualize or draw these all at once.

When working on some country specific task, I'd like the current map document to only show the related raster. Also, for spatial analysis, I would want the selected raster to be the only raster operated on.

How do I accomplish this?


Because a raster catalog has an attribute table, just like regular spatial datasets, I think you should be able to use a definition query. All you need is a field with, say, the name of the country for each raster. I don't have have a raster catalog around to try it, but I think it should work. You'll probably have to attribute the table in ArcCatalog, but that shouldn't be a problem. I'm quite sure I used to do this regularly when I had catalogs of georeferenced nautical charts. That was a while ago, though. My memory may be a bit fuzzy on the subject. Good luck!

  • what do you mean by "attribute the table in ArcCatalog"? – mindless.panda Jul 29 '11 at 12:26

Definition queries do work on Raster Catalogs. And, at minimum, the raster catalog should have a "Name" column holding the name of the file loaded by each raster catalog object.

Here is one way to accomplish what you are talking about though:

  1. Under Layer properties for the raster catalog layer in ArcMap, go to the Display tab and use one of the two "Display as wireframe..." options. Make sure setting fairly conservative so only a small number of images, if any, are displayed
  2. Switch to the selection tab. Check the checkmark for "and draw rasters".
  3. Optionally, you can change the selected features symbol under "with this symbol" to "No color" for fill color and "No color" for outline color. This will take away the cyan outline on selected tiles for the raster catalog layer only.

Now, most of your raster catalog should display as a wireframe. If you want an image to be displayed, just switch to the selection cursor and select the wireframe tile that you want to be visible. When you clear the selection, you image will revert back to wireframe.

An image mosaic dataset will give better control over image display than a raster catalog, especially through the Mosaic tab. (And it will have better display performance at small scales.)

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