I am trying to display a counties worth of TIF images (approx. 500-1500 tiles). After displaying the first 50 or so the program locks up.
If you load individual images into the map, I'll be honest I don't know what the limit might be - I'm guessing it depends on your system RAM.
The reason I don't know is that we have a data structure for managing large collections of images. Create a Mosaic Dataset and add the images into that. (Note you're not copying them into a large file - this is a virtual mosaic - and you can select one or many images out of it if you want to just focus on individual images).
You may also find this resource helpful http://esriurl.com/imagemanagement --> look for the link to the Image Management Guidebook. It's a lot of reading but if you're working with large image collections, you'll want to know about these details.
Also it is helpful if you let us know what version of ArcGIS you're using
Thanks, that is very helpful.
Gary W. Taylor
GIS Systems Analyst
DTMB – Center for Shared Solutions
another detail that is probably relevant is the presence of image pyramids (reduced resolution copies of each image). If your data files don't each have pyramids, then when you load them into the map, the system has to generate them on the fly which takes time and memory. (This is true whether you drag-and-drop files or use the Mosaic Dataset).
If you build a mosaic dataset, then "add rasters", after they've been added you can right click the MD in Catalog and choose "build pyramids". You can also query individual rasters via ArcCatalog to see if pyramids exist. (if they're JP2 or MrSid or ECW, they'll have built-in pyramids, so this is moot)
Last, note that pyramids are conceptually the same as what we call "overviews" on a mosaic dataset, but pyramids are associated with individual rasters, and building "overviews" on an MD refers to reduced resolution views of the mosaic.
These are old blogs but should be helpful if you're not familiar with ovrs & pyramids:
One last detail that unfortunately can be confusing: If your rasters do not have pyramids and you create them, you'll see sidecar files next to each raster (looking in a Windows directory, not via ArcCatalog) with extension *.ovr. Those are pyramids, not overviews...
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