What is happening to ArcGIS Image Server?

07-01-2010 08:22 AM
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New Contributor II
I'm having a hard time tracking down Image Server information in the 9.3 ArcMap help. Where did it go? It used to be right before GIS Servers and Services in the 9.2 TOC. Is Image Server going away in 10? To be replaced with Image Extension? I might just be stuck on the learning curve, but I'm hoping there's good information somewhere that I just haven't stumbled across. Also the Learn more about ArcGIS Image Server link in the new resource center appears to be broken.

Any tips on where to find useful documentation for the image server would be greatly appreciated!

- Dave Wilcox
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2 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor
Help on 9.3 Image Server can be found at:


The similar help at V10 can be found at  http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/An_overview_of_ArcGIS_Image_Server/009...
The Image Server technology is not going away. It is though being fully integrated into ArcGIS. It is therefore a technology not a stand alone product. With ArcGIS10 the on-the-fly processing has become a core component of ArcGIS in the form of functions that can be applied to raster datasets and stored as part of layers. Such on-the-fly processing can be performed both by the desktop and server. The functionality enables you to define processing to be applied to the imagery as it is accessed without the requirement to create new datasets. These functions can be accessed through the new Image Analysis Window. The Image Service Definition (ISDefs) used by Image Server at 9.2 and 9.3 have been replaced by a new Mosaic Dataset that is stored in the geodatabase. The mosaic dataset enables the cataloging of very large collections of images and rasters as well as defining the metadata and processing to be applied to the imagery. Storing them in the geodatabase enables them to be scaled to massive numbers of rasters. As before the pixels can remain in their original format, converted to more optimized formats, or if required stored in the database. No extension is required to create Mosaic Datasets as it is a core part of ArcGIS desktop (Editor or Info). Creating Mosaic Dataset is the recommended method of managing small to vast collections of imagery and rasters. A new set of tools is provided to enable the creation and management of mosaic datasets replacing the need for the Image Service Definition Editor.  The serving of rasterdata sets (optionally including processing) is a core capability of ArcGIS Server Image Services. Any raster dataset (or layer containing a raster datasets and a set of functions) and be optimally served as an Image Service. The Serving of Mosaic Datasets that contain collections or rasters requires the Image Extension. When Mosaic Datasets are served as Image Services they become accessible both as images with the server performing the on-the-fly processing and dynamic mosaicking, but also as catalogs that can be queried for detailed metadata. These changes make imagery very tightly integrated into the whole ArcGIS system and similar tools and models that can be applied to vector datasets and also be applied to imagery. Users that have licensed Image Server in the past will be upgraded to the Image Extension. For existing users that have workflows that use ISDefs the Image Server with its separate Image Service Definition Editor is still available as a separate install, but users are recommended to migrate to using Mosaic Datasets. The migration is simplified by the fact that ISDefs can be directly loaded as a rastertype into a Mosaic Dataset.

For more info check out the Help topic: http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html?TopicName=What_is_raster_data%3f#/ArcGI...
Also check the blog. There are two good items there and some comments on the What�??s new.  http://blogs.esri.com/Dev/blogs/imagery/Default.aspx
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New Contributor II
Thanks for the update!

- Dave
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