The raster dataset displays as solid black


Raster datasets may appear as solid black when displayed in ArcGIS Desktop. It is also possible to have this problem with raster datasets within a raster catalog; they may also appear as solid black when displayed in ArcGIS Desktop.


This can be caused by missing raster statistics. Statistics allow ArcGIS to properly contrast stretch a raster dataset. If the statistics are not calculated, then no contrast stretching can be used, sometimes making the raster dataset appear completely black.

Solution or Workaround

Build statistics for the raster datasets.
When experiencing this problem with a raster catalog, calculate the statistics for each raster dataset item in the raster catalog; it is not possible to calculate statistics on the catalog itself.

To calculate the statistics, follow the steps below: 
  1. In ArcCatalog, right-click on the raster dataset and click Calculate Statistics.
  2. In the Calculate Statistics dialog box, set the skip factor and the ignore value and click OK. For more information on setting the skip factor and ignore value, refer to ArcMap: Calculating statistics in ArcCatalog .

Article ID:000008395

  • ArcMap

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