Trouble with Projections and Transformations

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07-26-2011 11:56 AM
KensieWorsham1
New Contributor II
I have some shapefiles that are in Projected Coordinate System, UTM, NAD 1983, Zone 15N.  I am having difficulty re-projecting other shapefiles from WGS_1984 for example, into the other coordinate system. 

The tools say that they run and when you check the coordinate systems they read the same, but when they are added to ArcMap they do not draw the same. You can zoom to layer on one and it shows but the other that was re-projected will not show. 

Thank you for any help that you can give me.

Thanks,



JKW
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11 Replies
MelitaKennedy
Esri Notable Contributor
Hi,

My first question is which tool, Define Projection or Project? The first only updates the metadata and doesn't change the coordinate values to the new coordinate system. If you are using the Project tool, it may be that 1) the input data's coordinate system is incorrect (projecting it just makes it worse) or 2) there's something else wrong with the data so it's not projecting correctly to UTM 15North.

Can you post some sample coordinates before and after?

Melita
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KensieWorsham1
New Contributor II
Well, I used both the project tool and define projection tool. 

My big problem though may be the new shapefiles that I received, not the other shapefiles that I am working with.  I just recently acquired a set of shapefiles that were exported from GeoMedia and they have absolutely no spatial reference.  I defined the projection to the projection that I wanted and then projected with the project tool, but the shapefiles will still not show with another shapefile (other than the ones that I recently recieved) that has the same spatial reference.



JKW
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MelitaKennedy
Esri Notable Contributor
Oh, I see. Can you get any useful information out of the .csf files? If you want, you can send me one and I can see if I can figure out anything. mkennedy AT esri DOT com.

You can also take a look at one of the new shapefiles, on its own, in a new ArcMap session. That will at tell you if the coordinates are using a geographic or projected coordinate system.

Melita
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KensieWorsham1
New Contributor II
Whenever I opened the .csf up in Notepad this is what it said:

ÐÏ à¡± á                >   þÿ                                      þÿÿÿ        ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿýÿÿÿ    þÿÿÿ                       
          
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When I added the shapefiles to an empty ArcMap session and the coordinates say:

1070303.407  197011.891 Unknown Units


JKW
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MelitaKennedy
Esri Notable Contributor
Thanks! That was very useful. The relevant bit was here:

S t a t e P l a n e _ 1 9 8 3 _ L A S o u t h _ S u r v e y F o o t   F F N A D 8 3 - L A S o u t h - 1 S u r v e y F o o t

That tells me that it's NAD 1983 State Plane Louisiana South using US survey foot. Ah, but when I look at the coordinates for LA South (US feet), I'm seeing values in the 3million, 300thousand. If the shapefiles represent somewhere in Livingston county, the data itself is NAD 1983 State Plane Louisiana South (meters). Try defining them using that coordinate system.

If the shapefile is really using NAD 1983 State Plane Louisiana South (US feet), the data shows up in Atacosa county, Texas.

Melita
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KensieWorsham1
New Contributor II
Thank you so much, you have been a big help!


JKW
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TufayelChowdhury
New Contributor
I have a similar problem -- cannot define coordinate system to a shapefile that was exported from GeoMedia. Unfortunately, I don't see a discernable coordinate system in the .csf file that I was provided with:

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Best,

Tufayel
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MelitaKennedy
Esri Notable Contributor
Hi,

The csf can't be used by ArcGIS as far as I know (possibly Data Interoperability Extension can). You also should have a .prj file that contains the coordinate system information. Is there one? If there isn't, it's possible that the projection isn't supported by ArcGIS. Can you ask the data provider what the coordinate system is?

Melita
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TufayelChowdhury
New Contributor
Thanks Melita -- the client just got back and gave us the coordinate system. Its NAD83 UTM Zone 13.

I tried to define the coordinate system to GCS North America 1983 then project it to UTM zone 13. I could define the coordinate system but ArcGIS wouldn't project to UTM. Figuring I could only `define` the coordinate system, not `project`, I used import while defining the coordinate system from another shapefile that has GCS_North_America as geographic coordinate system and UTM Zone13 as projected coordinate system. That did the trick. Although I got what I needed, I am a bit puzzled as to why the first method (define, then project) didn`t work.

I think I know where the problem was, but I don`t know why. Attached is a screenshot of the shapefile after GCS was defined. Notice the scale is 1:347 billion! So clearly GCS was not properly defined which is why ArcGIS couldn`t project the coordinate system. Its curious that it would work if you import a projected coordinate system that is based on the same GCS that it did not work with when you defined the GCS. I don't know if this is a typical issue with shapefiles generated from GeoMedia. Hope you have better insight.

Thanks,

Tufayel
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