I have a bunch of separated aerial photographs (res. 20 cm, count ~ 50, total size 20GB) stored in single folder. I do not have a reference polygon layer noting the extent and name of each title raster.

My study area is however covered by only part of them. Thus, I wish to delete the tiles (unique rasters) I don't need from my home folder.

enter image description here

Is there a way in ArcGIS 10.1 how to interactively delete the tiles which I don't use? i.e., For shapefiles it is pretty straightforward: in editing mode, -> select the shapefile -> select a polygons -> delete the unnecessary ones.

I know that I can remove the tiles manually one by one, but how can I make it easier?

Do I need to firstly create a mosaics/geodatabase of all aerial photography and then delete the unused ones?

I seek advice/tips or tutorials about basic managing of tiles of aerial photography.

As an output, I wish to obtain a set of separated aerial photograph - or, ideally - a mosaics of raster images within the extent of the overlapping polygon. I am not sure which one is easier to obtain and display.

  • What is this image? Is it a mosaic, a whole raster or a bunch of separate files? And what output do you want: a) an image covering just your polygon or b) an image of the squares touching your polygon
    – Albert
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 11:00
  • For the aerials titles do you have a reference polygon layer noting the extent and name of each title raster?
    – artwork21
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 16:47
  • I have a bunch of separated files. I want to have images just covered by my polygon. I don't have a reference polygon layer noting the extent and name of each title raster.
    – maycca
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 17:15
  • Are they stored in the same folder?
    – FelixIP
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 22:35
  • yes, they are stored in the same folder
    – maycca
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 8:19

3 Answers 3


Follow this steps: 1) Create new file Geodatabase. 2) Create raster catalog. 3) Add all of your images into raster catalog. 4) Use "Select feature" tool to select all of your images you wish to delete. 5) Open raster's catalog attribute table. 6) Right mouse click at any row's grey box. 7) In context menu choose "copy selected".

Now you got all this file names in you clipboard. Use standart search functions to delete files from you hard drive.

enter image description here

EDIT: How to add images to raster catalog. see how to add

  • Cool, thank you ! it would still take a while to delete those, but I imagine I can just export tiles of interest to new raster catalog, and delete the whole old one. Please, could you indicate in your answer how to add your images to raster catalog? (-> Load) I was not sure about this step. Thank you !
    – maycca
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 11:26
  • 1
    See edit: How to add your images to raster catalog. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 13:05
  • @Mr.Che - good idea though still have to ensure it doesn't duplicate when you have a lot of images before you use "load Raster Datasets". It is good if you have a few of them. How about break it down into groups before you can Load Raster datasets so you don't have any duplicates ?
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 14:36

Instead of delete some mosaic imagery, you could change your mosaic operators to Blend to fill in the white boxes. You can read my ESRI GeoNet post a few years ago I worked on it. https://geonet.esri.com/thread/122737

Or you could use what Mr. Che suggest.

There is another way around you could do :


Best of luck !


You can:

1) Run the Mosaic to New Raster tool, importing all your rasters (this can be sped up in ArcCatalog by selecting multiple files at once and dragging into the tool window.)

2) Run the Extract by Mask tool using your study area as the feature mask

This should result in a mosaic raster containing only the imagery within the bounds of your study area.

  • With 20GB, How can you run the extract by Mask ?
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 18:23
  • This is not what topic starter wants. He want delete files from folder, not clip an image. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 4:08
  • @Mr.Che - but it was your suggest here ??
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 15:44
  • @PROBERT yeah, at the beginning i misunderstood the question and edit my first answer. Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 4:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.