Error: Raster Data Object Error - Unable to read standard header

Error Message

This article pertains to ArcGIS Desktop versions 8.x and ArcView GIS versions 3.x only. Later versions of ArcGIS may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.

When adding a .bil image to a view, the following error occurs in ArcView 8.1:

Raster Data Object Error
"Invalid raster dataset. Failed to create raster layer."
In ArcView GIS 3.x the error is:
"Unable to read standard header". "Image source <filename.bil> has error, unable to make Theme."


ArcView does not recognize the correct header file (*.hdr) associated with the image.

When .bil images are added to a view, a header file is used to display it. The header file of an image stores information about the image such as the number of rows and columns in the image, the number of bits per pixel, the color requirements, and georeferencing information. For more information on the header file, please see the ArcView help topic 'The header file.'

Solution or Workaround

Make sure there is a *.hdr file associated with the bil image. The *.hdr file should have the same name as the image file. For example the Spotimg.bil located in the c:\esri\av_gis30\avtutor\images\ directory has a header file called Spotimg.hdr. If the extension of the header file were to be changed to *.bak, and the image added to ArcView, the error message would occur.

Related Information

Last Published: 4/27/2020

Article ID: 000003003