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About environment settings for raster data

Release 9.3
Last modified November 12, 2009
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Note: This topic was updated for 9.3.1.

Environment settings include the general settings for parameters, such as the default workspace or output coordinate system, and specific settings for other data types or applications. Environment settings can be set at three levels: for the application you are working in so they apply to all tools, for a model so they apply to all processes within the model, or for a particular process within a model. You can set these before you begin using a tool or while setting up the parameters for the tool. There are two main groups of environment settings related to raster data: the Raster Analysis settings and the Raster Storage settings.

To learn more about environment settings, see Environment settings.

General settings specific to raster data

Settings contained here are general settings that are applicable to raster data results.

Setting Explanation
Snap Raster A raster that is used to control the cell alignment of the analysis extent and thus of the output rasters.

Raster Analysis settings

Settings contained here are applicable when working with ArcGIS Spatial Analyst tools that input or output a raster, either file or geodatabase.

Settings Explanation
Cell size The output cell size, or resolution. The default output resolution, when a feature class is used as input, is the width or height (whichever is shorter) of the extent of the feature class divided by 250.
  • Maximum of Inputs—The largest cell size of all input datasets. This is the default.
  • Minimum of Inputs—The smallest cell size of all input datasets.
  • As Specified Below—Specifies the exact cell size value.
  • Same as Layer—Specifies an input raster layer on which to base the cell size.
Mask Identifies those cells within the analysis extent that will be considered when performing an operation or a function. Setting an analysis mask means that processing will only occur on selected cells and that all other cells will be assigned values of NoData.

Learn more about specifying raster analysis environment settings.

Raster Storage settings

Settings contained here are applicable to raster data outputs for Spatial Analyst tools and the Raster toolset.

Settings Explanation
Pyramid Specifies whether to create pyramids with the output raster. For pyramid levels, choose a number of -1 or higher. A value of 0 will not build any pyramids, and a value of -1 will automatically choose the correct number of pyramid layers to create. When pyramids are built for ArcSDE geodatabases, you must specify the pyramid resampling technique:
  • NEAREST neighbor—Uses the value of the closest cell to assign a value to the output cell when resampling. This is the default.
  • BILINEAR interpolation—Determines the new value of a cell based on a weighted distance average of the four nearest input cell centers.
  • CUBIC convolution—Determines the new value of a cell based on fitting a smooth curve through the 16 nearest input cell centers.
Raster Statistics The Statistics option enables you to build statistics for the output raster dataset created. A skip factor may be set and applied to all types of raster datasets except GRID.
  • X skip factor—Skip value for the x-axis.
  • Y skip factor—Skip value for the y-axis.
Compression Specifies the compression type.
  • LZ77—Lossless compression that preserves all raster cell values.
  • JPEG—Lossy compression that uses the public JPEG compression algorithm. If you choose JPEG, you must also specify the compression quality.
  • JPEG 2000—Uses wavelet technology so rasters appear lossless. If you choose JPEG 2000, you must also specify the compression quality.
  • NONE—No compression.
Tile Size Specifies the width and height of the desired tile size. The default is 128 x 128.

Learn more about specifying raster storage settings.

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