I have a new project in design where I need to publish a web service that will allow access for clients (like ArcGIS Server Map Services).

The only thing is, I have a big raster database (~300+ Rasters) and I need to allow users to turn each raster on/off (like in a group layer).

I experimented a little in ArcGIS 10 and stumbled upon the Group Layer which gives me a great solution to my problem:

  1. I created a Mosaic Dataset for each raster.
  2. I created a layer (*.lyr) for each Mosaic DS.
  3. I gathered the layers under 1 group layer.
  4. I published the group layer to the ArcGIS Server using an MSD file.

The service works fine and I can turn each sub layer on/off from the client. Unfortunately, I can't really test it with a large amount of rasters (I tried it with 4 medium sized rasters).

Are there any limitations for the group layer?

It seems kind of strange putting all rasters under one layer but I'm really excited by the fact that I can publish a single service for all my rasters.

  • I have also been thinking about this recently, as I need a solution to publish rectified CAD drawings in a single map service. I'll be interested to see what other users suggest. – Timothy Michael Mar 27 '12 at 13:42
  • What happens when you have more rasters? – Stefan Mar 27 '12 at 14:47
  • I'm currently testing another approach: A large mosaic dataset that contains other mosaic datasets (I hope using the query definition to query wanted datasets but im having problem avoiding building overviews) anyway I will post my conclusions here – Pavel Tarno Apr 11 '12 at 6:40
  • Can you confirm more about how clients will consume these services from ArcGIS Server. 1. Desktop apps (Esri or non?) or Web applications? 2. What requirements do those users have? Are these rasters just a simple basemap, or do users require control over the rasters (such as altering contrast, calculating slope, etc). 3. Can you also let me know if you have the Image Server Extension. 4. Can you also elaborate on the 300 rasters. Im wondering why users need to turn each one on/off - do they all share the same extent, but different data (such as aerials for different aquistion dates). – Simon Apr 21 '12 at 3:30

it's been a while and I made some serious research around the multi raster service..
First of all, I upgraded to ArcGIS 10.1 PreRelease (It's now officialy released though)
Second of all, I abandoned the Group Layer approach as described in my question, primarily because ESRI support told me the group layer will not handle so many rasters and the more rasters i'll put in it, the slower it will work.

My other approach was succesfull though, I made a Mosaic Dataset for each raster (and built overviews to increase performance). Then, added each Mosaic Dataset to a Main Mosaic Dataset (I didn't built overviews on the main mosaic)..
This allowed me to publish a single Image Service on my AGS with the Main Mosaic Dataset as it's resource.
Then, when approached the service from my client (using ArcGIS WPF API) I specified the Lock Raster mosaic method for the Image Service Layer..
This allowed me to fetch only the Mosaic Datasets I desire from the Main Mosaic..

This approach was tested with about 10 medium rasters(1-10 GB) and performed really well, I'm now waiting for more map material to append to it, If anything unexpected happnes i'll post it here..

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