FAQ: What are some best practices for raster storage?
What are some best practices for raster storage?
There are many different approaches for storing and managing raster data, and each approach offers different advantages and disadvantages. The optimal approach to use depends on the needs and the raster data in question.
The following are a few common considerations and objectives to be considered when selecting an approach for storing raster data:
- Accessibility to data
- Size of data
- Functionality of data
For comparisons of the different types of geodatabases to store raster data, refer to the following documentation: How raster data is stored and managed.
If data accessibility is not an important factor, use a traditional folder-based approach. For more information, refer to the following documentation: Should I load my raster data into a geodatabase?
The size of the raster data can be reduced through compression, but this reduces the accuracy of the data if the pixel values are altered. When balancing the trade-off between the size and accuracy of the raster data, consider either a lossless or lossy compression. For analyzing data, a lossless compression is recommended, while lossy compression is useful for improving the time taken to generate a dataset for display that does not require high precision.
For more information and comparison between lossless and lossy compression, refer to the following documentation: Raster compression.
Note: When storing raster data in the cloud, there is another type of compression called Limited Error Raster Compression (LERC). For more information on this type of compression, refer to the following documentation: Storing large volumes of imagery and raster in the cloud.
For more information, refer to the following documentation: Compression, pyramids, and tile size.
Mosaic datasets allow for better performance, especially when the raster data is expected to be queried, storing metadata, and overlapping raster data.
For more information and comparison between using raster datasets or mosaic datasets, refer to the following documentation: Comparing raster data storage models.
- ArcGIS Desktop: Raster data organization
- ArcGIS Desktop: What is a mosaic dataset?
- ArcGIS Desktop: Types of geodatabases
- ArcGIS Desktop Help (9.3): Why store rasters in a geodatabase
- ArcGIS Desktop Help (9.3): Building large raster datasets - case studies
- ArcGIS Desktop Help (9.3): Example raster case studies including the storage decisions