Georeferencing in ArcGIS 10 or “Why is my georeferencing toolbar suddenly grayed out?”

Blog Post created by JSwain-esristaff Employee on Feb 28, 2012
Questions on georeferencing are some of the most common questions that we get in Support. These conversations range from basic how to questions all the way to questions like “Why are the buttons grayed out?”

There are many places you can find georeferencing help. A few of these places are the ArcGIS Desktop Help documentation, the multiple Support Blogs (linked at the bottom), and the technical articles at Esri Support.

Recently, we have been getting a lot of long-time customers using the georeferencing tool calling in because their toolbar is grayed out. If you are having trouble with an inactive toolbar – have no fear! There is a great article that details some of the known issues that can cause problems when georeferencing rasters in ArcMap.

Of the issues described in the article, one of the most common has to do with datum transformations within a map document. When there are layers or rasters in the map document with different datums, the georeferencing toolbar will be grayed out or inactive. To activate the georeferencing toolbar, open a new map document and only add the raster that you desire to georeference.

Georeferencing Toolbar at ArcGIS 9.3.1


Georeferencing Toolbar at ArcGIS 10

Always be mindful of which raster you are georeferencing, and always remember to save your solution by rectifying or updating the georeferencing. Otherwise the solution will only be applied to that raster in that map document.Support Blog Posts on GeoreferencingWorking with Rasters: GeoreferencingHaving problems georeferencing your raster image?Jeff S. - Raster Support Analyst