I have already made a raster stack (5 bands in one TIFF) of my multitemporal Landsat images in R and have also clipped a smaller region of every raster stack for each image. Now I want to do some classification not in R but in ArcMap. But I am having problems just displaying the data.

As far as I understand I have to create a raster catalog with different raster datasets... each raster dataset shall contain a raster stack for one year at one point in time. How can I make ArcGIS display the bands correctly, e.g. for the band combination RGB=4,3,2?

  • are you able to open the files in arcmap ?
    – Naresh
    Jun 17, 2013 at 12:10
  • In the meantime I have resolved the problem myself. Its rather easy to assign the bands in the RGBmapper (file in arcmap -> right mouseclick). Furthermore you have to calculate some statistics (properties -> index card "Symbology")
    – Stacky
    Jun 18, 2013 at 11:40

1 Answer 1


To elaborate on @Stacky's comment:

When opening the Layer Properties dialog box for a multiband raster and selecting the Symbology tab, the options available are "Stretched" and "RGB Composite". "Stretched" is useful when only a single band from the raster is needed, but "RGB Composite" is obviously appropriate for a raster with RGB bands.

At the top of this dialog box, there are a series of dropdown boxes that can be used to assign different bands to the Red, Green, and Blue channels. An alpha channel may also be selected with these boxes.

Statistics calculations can be useful if multiple raster datasets are being displayed with slightly different contrast due to different minimums, maximums, etc. By choosing a Statistics option other than "From Each Raster Dataset", the different raster datasets being displayed will appear more seamless because they will all be using the same statistics.

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