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Mosaics and Image Server services….source vs derived vs reference…Advice requested

Question asked by rastrauch Champion on Dec 12, 2017
Latest reply on Apr 2, 2018 by rastrauch

Mosaics and Image Server services….source vs derived vs reference…Advice requested

Note: Sorry, this is long…but greatly appreciate anyone who reads and can give advice. I know there are many approaches, but looking for suggestions so I can get my head wrapped around it, so I can see what can work for us. A logical approach just hasn’t quite clicked for me yet. 

I'm putting this as a question to get more views and maybe more responses....but realize there may not be any one answer.


I am looking for some advice on setting up our mosaics and Image Server services (10.5.1).  I know the basics of how to create the source mosaics and create image services from them (I have done this in 10.2.2 and initial test in 10.5.1).   I have read the various help and documents on what can be done, and the various workflows:

And many others, but my head spins whenever I try to figure out a logical way to set this all up.


Source Data: I have 5 folders with about 4500 tiffs (plus .tfw, xml, etc.), one folder four each of 5 “categories”  (RGB, PAN, CIR, DEMEllipsoid, DEMOrtho).   After several crashing, corrupt, and blank or checkerboard issues on zooming in (see notes at bottom for how we fixed), I have successfully created the fgdb with the 5 “source”  mosaics with the default reference system, and used the “-1” for overview creation and have done the default “analyze”, etc. I also created an intial service for the RGB (which was how we found and debugged the zoom issues).   All our source data is referenced with the UNC path to the folder (so it should be portable to our production machine, when ready).


Source (initial) mosaics:  

Based on some of the suggestions, I created a file GDB with the  “s_”  designation to indicate source mosaics.  For lack of better name to start, I attached the wkid, i.e.    s_wkdi102247.gdb



Goals (in no particular order, but numbered for discussion purposes):

  1. Have mosaics and/or services in difference projections (3338 and maybe WMA)
  2. Create a cache in 3338 for distribution to area offices/offline and/or map services
  3. Create hillshade, slope, aspect, shaded relief, and maybe some other function stil to be determined… 102247 and/or 3338 (i.e. re-projected)

Questions (finally…again, in no particular order):

  1. Am I better off creating “reference” mosaics with functions OR Image Server service with functions for:
    1. The re-projection to 3338?
    2. The hillshades, etc. in 3338?
      1. And should these be function strings or a new reference mosaic off of a. above?
  2. If my data doesn’t overlap (i.e. time), isn’t from different mosaics, etc., that is, if I’m not combining other mosaics, is there a reason for “derived” mosaics? Or am I better off with reference mosaics?
  3. I have all of the source mosaics in one fgdb. I know that one corrupt mosaic can corrupt the entire fgdb (from yesterday’s experience).  Any suggestions for a better strategy or organization of the source and all the reference fgdb/mosaics that will make it efficient and logical?  Anyone have a good sample of how they did or would do it?


Thanks for any and all suggestions.


Note: for those wondering how I fixed the crashing and zooming in errors (in case it helps others):  

  • accessing the source on a more “local” read-only server helped with the crashing on creating the mosaic.  Also sped up the creation process easily 4 fold or more.
  • The zoom issues were mainly because the OS service for “ArcGIS Server” log-in-as had a different account running it from previous installs. This local account did not have permissions required to access the source images. We did 2 things:
  • used a different service account for the log-in-as, an d made sure it was in the group that had read-access to the source folder
  • created a new “data store” connection in the ArcGIS Image Server (although, the old one may have worked after the above)
  • btw – we first thought the issue was the “default” overview levels create was 4. Using the “-1” option for optimal levels created 8, which improved the zoom issues, but didn’t fix it.  That is when tech support suggested the permission issue.  That didn’t dawn on me since it worked on other machines (10.2.2) and Desktop could access for the creation of the mosaic.  However, it was the Image Server that didn’t have the correct access when it “ran out” of overviews. (i.e more dynamic).


Tagging, since not sure best location:

Managing Data Imagery and Remote Sensing Elevation Data ArcGIS Image Server Enterprise GIS ArcGIS Enterprise