Frustrated with mosaic datasets

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06-11-2014 04:17 PM
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Occasional Contributor II
It seems like I am frequently having to repair mosaic datasets or have someone in my office tell me that can't read one because they have an older version of ArcMap. But without a server, how do I make these gigabits of raster data easily accessible in a tiled and pyramided way? What seems to me to be a solution would be if ArcMap could read a local cache of TMS tiles or even KML superoverlays but I have not learned how that might work yet.

I am trying to build a tile package right now, but you have to load all of that raster data into a map, for crying out. I just want to point the tool to a folder of rasters and let it run. And I wouldn't be surprised if I run into the same version issues as with mosaic datasets.

Any suggestions?
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9 Replies
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New Contributor
Have you considered working with a Raster Catalog instead?
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Occasional Contributor II
It's been a while since I used a raster catalog, but I think that would be pretty slow for the amount of data I want to mosaic. The pyramiding is not as efficient as it is with mosaic datasets, is it? Also, I'm probably going to run into the same version problems as with mosaic datasets. I am beginning to conclude that the best way is for me to always stay 2 versions behind the leading version and build 10.0 mosaics.
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Esri Esteemed Contributor
Hi Evan,

You won't need to stay 2 versions behind.  You can use the tool Create File GDB.  This tool gives you the option to create an earlier version geodatabase.

I would recommend using a mosaic dataset over a tile package, but if you need to create a tile package for use elsewhere (i.e ArcGIS Online) you can create a cache of the mosaic dataset, and then create the tile package of this cache.  You will want to perform the following steps:

1.  Create the mosaic dataset
2.  Run the Manage Tile Cache tool specifying the mosaic dataset as the input
3.  Run the Export Tile Cache tool to create the tile package

Tile packages can be very useful to upload to ArcGIS Online. You can unpackage the tile package there and use the cache in your web maps.
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Occasional Contributor III

Just to extend Jake's suggestions- There's a post I've wrote on workflows of Cache creation with Desktop (10.2 preferably).

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Occasional Contributor II
Thanks for the notice about that tool. I have been keeping empty older-version gdbs around for the same purpose but I like the tool.

But, I just made a 10.0 gdb and mosaic dataset from my 10.2 install and another 10.0 machine can't read the mosaic dataset. Should it or am I expecting the tool to do something it can't?
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Occasional Contributor
Your frustrations will grow when you go to publish a mosaic dataset using AGS, only to find that the Image extension is required.
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Esri Esteemed Contributor
Thanks for the notice about that tool. I have been keeping empty older-version gdbs around for the same purpose but I like the tool.

But, I just made a 10.0 gdb and mosaic dataset from my 10.2 install and another 10.0 machine can't read the mosaic dataset. Should it or am I expecting the tool to do something it can't?


I was able to get my hands on a 10.0 machine and received an error as well trying to add a mosaic dataset in a 10.0 file geodatabase created from a 10.2 desktop.  This may be a bug and it will be best to follow up with support.
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Occasional Contributor II
Great, thanks Jake.
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Regular Contributor
Your frustrations will grow when you go to publish a mosaic dataset using AGS, only to find that the Image extension is required.


I totally agree. I use GeoExpress 9.0 to mosaic our images into a .sid file. From this I create a tiled map cache to use as a background layer in ArcGIS for Server 10.2.2. No need for image analysis extension.
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