Add dynamic images to Data Driven Pages using a raster catalog

Last Published: April 26, 2020


Beginning with ArcGIS for Desktop 10.1, there are two methods that incorporate dynamic images into Data Driven Pages:

  • Simple paths from Data Driven Pages
  • Attachments from Data Driven Pages
Both methods work but may present challenges if the size and/or orientation of the images vary, or if the index layer has not been configured with the necessary file paths or attachments needed to use these methods.

Please review these methods here:
How To: Add dynamic images to a map document using simple paths from Data Driven Pages

The instructions provided describe how to use a raster catalog, an additional data frame, and a page definition query to establish dynamic images for Data Driven Pages.


  1. Set up a raster catalog to contain the images.
    1. Right-click a file geodatabase > select New > select Raster Catalog.
    2. Provide a 'Raster Catalog Name', and scroll down on the tool window to select ‘UNMANAGED’ as the 'Raster Management Type'. Leave the other settings at their defaults, and click OK to create the raster catalog.
    3. Navigate to and right-click the new raster catalog > select Load. Select 'Load from workspace' if the images are in a folder that only contains the desired images, otherwise select 'Load raster datasets'.
    4. Use the Browse button to select the workspace or all the images to be included in the Data Driven Pages, and select OK to load the images into the raster catalog.
    This method works even if the images do not have a spatial reference.
  2. Establish common attribute values between the raster catalog and the index layer used for Data Driven Pages.
    1. Add a field to the raster catalog’s attribute table, the index layer’s attribute table, or both depending on whether the common values already exist in one of the tables. Be sure the fields used from each table are of the same data type. In most cases, the new field is added to the raster catalog to match the name field used when configuring Data Driven Pages.
    2. Add the common values to the new field(s) so that each image in the raster catalog has an attribute identical to the attribute of its related feature in the index layer. Be sure that the common attribute values are identical between the two tables.
    The attribute used must match that of the Name field used for configuring Data Driven Pages.
  3. Set up an additional data frame in the data driven page layout, and enable a page definition query to control the display of the images.
    1. In the map document that contains the data driven pages, select Insert > Data Frame.
    2. Add the raster catalog to the new data frame. Disregard the warning that it does not have a spatial reference. If they do not have a spatial reference, the images display as overlapping each other, but this does not affect the outcome.
    3. In the layout view, adjust the new data frame to the desired configuration in the page layout. Use the zoom and pan tools to adjust the position of the images within the data frame.
    4. Right-click the raster catalog in the Table of Contents > select Properties.
    5. Select the Definition Query tab, and click the Page Definition button.
    6. Click the Enable check box.
    7. Select the field from the raster catalog that contains the common attribute values > Select the “Match” radio button > Select OK, and OK again, to apply the page definition query.
    8. Ensure the image changes with each page.

Article ID:000011969

  • ArcMap

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