I am new to ArcGIS for Desktop and I have downloaded some land cover data from the European Environment Agency. the data comes in 3 separate files, A tiff file, which is the data source for the raster, a layer file which has all the symbology, and then the attribute table is an excel file.

How can I get ArcGIS use the table and the tiff file with the layer file?

1 Answer 1


When you load the tiff file in ArcGIS, select display as unique values and it will display each landcover class with a colour code for each numberic landcover class (I presume). These numbers should correspond to the numbers in the excel file which then give the corresponding landcover class?

So :

  1. Check for an obvious landcover class (e.g. water) that the above assumptions are correct and this is the class the excel table gives for that number.
  2. Right click the tiff layer's label and display the attribute table. If the option is greyed out then you will need to use "build attribute table" first - it is in the Data Management toolbox.
  3. If the attribute table exists, use "Join Tables" to join the excel file to the attribute table using the common ID.
  4. Again right click the tiff file, and select "properties" then the Display tab. There is a button marked "layer file" or something like that. It will allow you to load the layer file.
  5. Inspect the map for any landcover patches you know/can predict. Are they correct?

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