Number of Image Services?

08-22-2011 02:25 PM
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Frequent Contributor
There are 10 image layers for the region in our SDE, which are from 1999 till 2008.  I plan to publish them as image services.  Being a newer in ArcGIS Server, I would like to raise some basic Q's:
1) Should each image be created as an image service by using Catalog?
2) If I create a mxd and put all of the images in mxd, will it also work?
Which one, 1) or 2), will work better?
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Regular Contributor
Depending on what you would like to do with the image service, I would recommend creating a mosaic dataset for each year and then if desired publish them and add them to an additional mosaic dataset.  That way you can add a field and utilize the time slider in the published service.  If you have the Image Server Extension then you can publish each one out and the final image service will be time enabled.

In terms of having to publish them with a catalog or in an mxd, if you have the Image Server Extension it is not necessary.  If you plan on alternatives, then you will have to create a physical file and publish that or utilize an mxd and publish as a map service not an image service.
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Frequent Contributor
Thanks for your post.  In our appiolication, we plan to utilize time slider in Silverlight-pages.  Per your advice, I should 1) create a mosaic dataset for the 10 years' images; 2) publish it as an image serive with a Catalog; 3) consume it.
By the way, We don't have image extension.
I also reviewed ESRI's World_Imagery  It is a MapService.  It means that these image layers are loaded into a mxd and then published as a MapService.  If I using this approach, will time slider work?
Many Thanks.
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Regular Contributor
The clearest and direct method for performing what you mention is the multiple mosaic datasets. One mosaic dataset for the individual years and then one to unite them all. The time slider will then work as described. To publish the embedded mosaic dataset in a map service, you will still need the Server Image Extension.  To create what you are mentioning, you will have to create merged raster datasets and then try to group them.  I am not sure how that would work.

From the Silverlight API samples, under Time Enabled Layers > Image Services, the time series there references a mosaic dataset produced image service as well.

 <esri:ArcGISImageServiceLayer Url="" >
                    <esri:MosaicRule MosaicMethod="esriMosaicCenter" />

So it seems that the Image Server Extension and mosaic datasets will still be needed. Unmanaged raster catalogs are treated as mosaic datasets when you publish them in a Map service, you should still need the Image Server Extension. 

Per this Seminar Power Point about Imagery at ArcGIS 10, you can see on page 35 that Raster Catalogs cannot be published.

So I would still recommend upgrading to the Image Server Extension and publish the image service using the mosaic dataset.   Raster catalogs are not feasible and creating the raster datasets could be rather time/data consuming.
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