When you add a raster dataset that does not have pyramids or statistics into an ArcGIS application (such as ArcMap), you will be prompted to build pyramids and calculate statistics.
Pyramids are reduced-resolution overviews of the data at different scales. Pyramids are useful because they improve the drawing speed for raster datasets displayed at less than their full resolution. It is recommended that you always build pyramids for large raster datasets.
Options on the Create Pyramids dialog box
Click Yes to build pyramids for the raster dataset. This dialog box will not return again for this particular raster dataset since the pyramids will exist.
Click No if you do not want to build pyramids for the raster dataset. Selecting this option means your raster will not be displayed as quickly as it could, and this dialog box will reappear if the dataset is added to the application again.
Click Cancel so the raster dataset is not added to the display and the pyramids will not be built. Choose this option if you picked the wrong raster dataset to display or want to build pyramids using a different method.
Pyramid resampling technique
Defines how the data will be resampled when building the pyramids.
Pyramid compression type
Defines the method used when compressing the pyramids.
Specifies the compression quality when either JPEG or JPEG_YCbCr compression is chosen. Valid values range from 1 to 100, where a higher number means better image quality, but less compression.
Use my choice and do not show this dialog in the future
Check this box if you do not want this dialog box to appear again and you want to always make the same choice.
You can choose a different option on the Raster tab of the ArcMap Options dialog box, which can be accessed from the Customize menu.
When you choose to build the pyramids, they are created for the whole raster dataset, including all the bands, according to the defaults in the application. To change the default settings for building pyramids and displaying this dialog box, see Changing the default setting for building pyramids. Optionally, you can build the pyramids using one of the pyramid building tools and modify the environment settings.
When you build pyramids using a mosaic dataset or raster catalog as the input, the pyramids are built for each raster dataset within them. Pyramids cannot be built for a raster catalog, however, you can build overviews for a mosaic dataset, which are similar to raster dataset pyramids.