Browse imagery is used as a reference to full-resolution imagery. It is usually published so that end users can search, review, and order full-resolution content using some kind of app. Sometimes called thumbnails, browse images are typically only three bands, compressed, and have a lower resolution than the original imagery. A key requirement of browse imagery is low data volume per image to ensure fast performance when browsing.
Organizations often want end users to be able to browse and query their imagery collection without loading the full-resolution data. Easily searchable browse imagery is often a good solution. (For an example application that uses browse imagery, check out Landsat Look Viewer.)
Mosaic datasets configured for browse imagery do two things—they directly access the pre-built browse images, and they store the metadata in a structured form, enabling detailed search and display. Image services based on this type of mosaic dataset let users search imagery based on attributes and geographic location, and make it possible to display imagery previews in web maps (the full-resolution images are typically not made available to the end user).
Explore the following resources to learn more about managing browse imagery. (Not sure where to start? Look for the star by Esri's most helpful resources.)
Note:To create and edit mosaic datasets, you'll need ArcGIS Desktop (Standard or Advanced). To serve mosaic datasets, you'll need ArcGIS Image Server.
Imagery Workflows resources
Community-supported tools and best practices for working with imagery and automating workflows:
- Read a detailed description of best practices for managing browse imagery. *
- Download sample Python scripts for automating the management of browse imagery using best practices. *
- Download sample browse imagery to use with the sample Python scripts.
- Read detailed documentation explaining best practices for creating mosaic datasets and structuring and formatting imagery and rasters.
Reference material for ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, and ArcGIS Enterprise:
- Learn more about using mosaic datasets to manage imagery in ArcGIS Pro.
Authoritative learning resources focusing on key ArcGIS skills:
- Watch Managing Raster Data Using ArcGIS (2-hr web course) to learn how to use mosaic datasets enable efficient data storage and fast visual performance.
Resources and support for automating and customizing workflows:
- Visit the MDCS GitHub repo to download a Python script to help automate the creation and configuration of mosaic datasets.
- If you plan to manage your satellite imagery in the cloud, or want to optimize the data format for faster access, visit the OptimizeRasters GitHub repo for scripts and tools to optimize data transfer and management.
Online places for the Esri community to connect, collaborate, and share experiences:
- See what the imagery community is saying about managing browse imagery.
* Esri's top picks