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The image memory limit is based on the desired maximum size of an output image and its resolution. By default, the image memory limit is 4 MB, which allows output image dimensions of 1024 x 1024 pixels (that is, 1048576 pixels). Any request for an image exceeding this size will result in a "Requested Image too big and cannot be created" error.
For ArcMap services, consider the page size of the layout when determining the image memory limit.
When serving a layout with page size of height (H inches) and width (W inches) and if the desired maximum resolution is R pixels per inch, the image memory limit in pixels is given by
Image Memory Limit = H x R x W x R
Image size (MB) = Image Memory Limit x (4/1000000)
For information on how to set the image memory limit, please read ArcIMS online help on the topic "Setting site properties" or "Changing service properties."
The file size of an ArcMap Service layout request in a vector format (ai, emf, eps or pdf) is not restricted by the image memory limit.