November 2012
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Fixing aerial imagery stretching in ArcMap 10.1 (or why does my imagery look so bad?)

ESRI has apparently made some unnecessary changes to the way it handles raster imagery in its newest version (10.1).  The County goes through great lengths in its imagery project (LARIAC – see website) to ensure that the imagery is color balanced and looks good natively.  When you added our data to ArcMap, it looked fine because the default setting was not to use statistics to stretch the imagery.

However, in 10.1 they have thrown this away, so now it looks HORRIBLE when loaded.  Thanks to some sleuthing by Todd Zagurski of Regional Planning, he has found a way to set the ArcMap defaults to not stretch the imagery.  Stretching uses the statistics of the image to enhance it  by changing its brightness, contrast, and gamma.

The instructions are fairly simple:

Customize menu > ArcMap Options > Raster layer > “Check the Enable Custom Rendering Defaults” and change Stretch Type to “None”

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