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March 23, 2022

Why won't my raster display zoomed out on ArcGIS Pro?

ArcGIS Pro is objectively better than ArcMap, but that doesn't mean it's flawless. Sometimes, we run into problems with
ArcGIS that we just can't seem to solve. In this case, the GIS community let me down, but I was able to figure it out on my own.

In case you don't have an extra 8-10 hours on hand, let me solve it for you. There's something that no one mentions anywhere in the help docs:

ArcGIS doesn't like to show large rasters when they're decimal values.

That's really it. So, if you've tried everything else, and you've landed here, try using the Integer function on your raster, and see what happens. It fixed my problem easy peasy.

Beige analog compass

Step 1: Check for zooming rules

Sometimes, we set rules on our rasters that say that they shouldn't display after you've zoomed in or out a certain extent. These can be found by right clicking on the layer and viewing its properties under the "Display" section.

If you've got something put in those scale values for min/max, you'll need to remove it, then refresh your map to see if it shows at the resolution you want it to show at.

Step 2: Check the extent by "Zoom To Layer"

If you're not sure of the extent of your layer (because it's not displaying), you can use the Zoom to Layer command. Right click on the layer and click "Zoom to layer" and see where you land in relation to your basemap. If it zooms you out so you see the entire world, or zooms you right into a very small area, chances are, your raster is corrupted.

Step 3: Check the values of the raster

You can't view an attribute table because it's not a vector, but what you can do is use symbology to get the statistics. So, right click and open up the Symbology window, then have ArcGIS attempt to do a discrete category classification. That'll force it to run statistics and group your values.

If they go from e-38 to e38, chances are that that's ArcGIS's default scale; so try again, or consider whether or not your raster is corrupted.

Step 4: Cast your raster by truncating the decimals

This is ultimately what worked for me, but the other steps above may fix your problem, and they're quicker than this one. I had a hunch that Arc wasn't displaying my raster because it was a very large file (>500mb). It would show below 1:500k or so, but if I tried to zoom out, it would disappear.

So open up your Tools and search for "Int" - it'll bring the tool up that you need. You're looking for the tool that truncates decimals. Put in your raster and let it run. For my 500mb+ files, Int was taking 10-20 minutes per, so go get a coffee or something.

Step 5: Redo your symbology and test

After you've successfully converted your raster, it's time to test. Update your symbology using the steps in Step 3 above, and then zoom in and out. Did it fix your problem? I hope so!

I've got a few more steps on mine, now that I can see them. I have to clip them, color them, and then set up my map. But hey - at least I can see them now!

I hope this tutorial fixed your problems in a way that Twitter, Reddit, and Quora couldn't fix mine!

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