Mosaic to New Raster Spatial Reference Error

08-07-2019 03:50 PM
New Contributor


I am trying to use Mosaic to New Raster in ArcMap 10.6 to mosaic 64 different DEM's from throughout WA state (the raster files were all collected from this website Washington 10-meter DEMS and are not contiguous). All of the original DEM's have the spatial reference of either NAD_1927_UTM_ZONE_10N or NAD_1927_UTM_ZONE_11N, are 32-BIT-FLOAT, have 1 band, and have a cellsize of 10,10. 

I want to create a mosaic raster from these separate DEMs that uses the WGS 1984 spatial reference, but maintains all of the other original conditions. My assumption has been that I need to specify the cellsize in the Mosaic to New Raster tool to preserve the 10,10 cell specs in the original raster files (cellsize=10). However, each time I do so, I get an error report that my spatial references must be identical. I get this error even when I mosaic together only 10N or 11N raster files (assuming that's causing the "spatial reference" identity issue). The only time I get a successful mosaic with the WGS 1984 reference is when I DO NOT specify the cell-size (keeping all other conditions the same). 

Can I trust that my data are reliable when the output mosaic does not have the 10,10 cellsize? What else can I try to get reliable data? I want to use the mosaic DEM to determine elevation, slope, and aspect conditions associated with plant distributions. 

Thank you!!!

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2 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Mosaic To New Raster makes an entirely new raster dataset, and projecting on the fly to create the output even if it worked would not give you enough control of the required resampling in my opinion. You are best off projecting all the inputs to the same coordinate system, using transformations if required (say, NAD83 to WGS84), and specifying an output cell size and registration point. Then Mosaic them together, or, perhaps better, creating a geodatabase mosaic dataset which doesn't require the time consuming mosaicking process.

However, the website you linked has very old DEMs (c. 2000).  I highly recommend you instead obtain elevation data from the more current dataset published by the USGS at The National Map, which is available nationwide (excluding Alaska) seamlessly at 1/3 arc second (about 10m) resolution in geographic coordinates. These elevation datasets are much more current and higher quality (many based on lidar, not contours!) and are all in the same projection, so you can more easily combine them. The National Map elevation data are also in bigger tiles (1x1 degree) which will mean less work too!

For best results, I think you want to project the 1x1 degree tiles using the Project Raster tool to a common projection (specifying cell size and common registration point) and create a geodatabase mosaic dataset. It's usually very difficult to deal with a single raster file as large as you are planning.

Another thing to consider, you may be able to obtain this information from the Living Atlas without having to do any of this elevation data processing yourself. (Wow!)

Introducing Esri’s World Elevation Services 

ArcGIS Pro even includes a ready to use tool that will calculate elevation slope and aspect from these services for you! (Wow, again!)

Summarize Elevation—Help | ArcGIS Desktop 

Hope this helps.

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New Contributor

Thank you, Curtis! I will give the more current DEM's a try. 

I appreciate the help

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