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FAQ: Can a referenced raster catalog still be used in ArcSDE at ArcGIS 9.x?

Question

Can a referenced raster catalog still be used in ArcSDE at ArcGIS 9.x?

Answer

A referenced raster catalog is a table with at least five required fields: IMAGE, XMIN, YMIN, XMAX, YMAX; whereby, the IMAGE field stores the path to the raster data location in the file system, and the rest of the required fields store the bounding box of the individual raster dataset members. At releases prior to ArcGIS 9.x, this table can either be stored in a file as .dbf, .txt, or .info format or in ArcSDE, and it can be previewed as a raster catalog. At ArcGIS 9.x, the file-based referenced raster catalogs still work as they did previously, but ArcSDE-based referenced raster catalogs are interpreted as a plain table, and therefore they cannot be previewed and used as a raster catalog.

There are two options to resolve this issue and get the data to work in ArcGIS 9.x.

1. Create an unmanaged raster catalog in a personal geodatabase and reference all the raster datasets on disk.

2. Load all the data to an ArcSDE geodatabase raster catalog.

Loading the raster data into an enterprise geodatabase (ArcSDE) is highly recommended for users with very large amounts of data being accessed by one or more simultaneous users.