Using a Raster Catalog in ArcCatalog
You can use a Raster Catalog to store high volumes of imagery. You can create them from the File menu in ArcCatalog, or from the Create Raster Catalog tool in ArcToolbox. When set up and populated, with some image tiles selected, it will look something like the image below:
Using the Thumbnail Quick Look Option in ArcMap
Sometimes you need to search the attribute table by individual record and would like to have a quick look at the individual image tile from imagery and its extents at the same time.
For example, you may have a series of images for onshore exploration or well pad site selection. You may wish to choose which image you want by looking at the thumbnail from within the attribute table, and this is where you can simultaneously see other relevant attribute entries for this record.
With the attribute table open, by clicking in the Raster column in any of the records, this selects what looks like a ‘drop down’ menu:
When you click on the arrow to the right of highlighted raster, you will see a thumbnail of the image.
This allows quick looks of the imagery within ArcMap, without needing to access the image either from ArcCatalog, or externally such as when using Windows Explorer.
Posted by Mike Phillips, Senior GIS Trainer, Exprodat.