How To: Prepare raster data for use within the ArcPad disconnected environment


Managing large raster datasets can often present problems when operating within the ArcPad environment. Instructions provided describe the most common workflow practices for managing rasters.


As there are a number of raster formats supported by ArcPad, choices can be made based upon desired usage and the spatial extent of the data. The following instructions assume that ArcMap is being used as the primary processing and staging area.

Clip the raster data based upon a defined extent when checking out data through the ArcPad Data Manager wizard. If the background option is selected, the raster dataset can be output in either JPEG2000, TIF, or in the original input source format.

Get Data for ArcPad

If multiple rasters must be accessed, saving the raster data to an SD card on the mobile device may be appropriate. This allows for rasters of a large spatial extent to be saved wholly in the event that the field collection process does not stay within the confines of the planned area of interest.

** With this option, the compression properties are likely to play an important role with regard to mobile device storage space and processor speed. Prior to copying the source rasters to the mobile device, a geoprocessing tool that utilizes geodatabase settings or the raster storage environment settings can be used to define compression, pyramid properties, and other raster storage parameters.

Setting the raster compression from a tool

Setting the raster compression in the environment settings

** While ArcPad supports a variety of image formats and compression methods, each one is suited for different uses. A lossless compression method should be used for the source rasters if cell level information is important. Lossy compressions can be utilized for aerial orthophotography when this information is not required to be preserved with the source image. It is not suggested that a lossy compression be used on Digital Raster Graphics as the format can degrade line and polygon symbols.

Supported raster data

Choosing the most appropriate raster format for your project