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Export Features - provide quick access to existing map coordinate system and transformation info

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11-09-2023 03:31 PM
Status: Open
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GISAdminSHN
New Contributor III

When you right-click-->Data-->Export Features in ArcMap you get exactly what you need, a quick dropdown of all or selected features, and a quick option select to use coordinate system of source or map for the output. If you choose map's coord. system, it then uses whatever projection option you have chosen in your data frame properties to complete the export into your target shapefile.

Pro makes this process excruciating, either forcing you to pre-project a bunch of data you might not even be selecting to export, or using the environments tab on the export features dialog box and scrolling through a million coordinate systems. It doesn't even give you a nice <use data source CS> or <use map's CS> entry in the list, what the heck is that about? Then to make matters worse the transformations list is a nightmare, listing every single transformation under the sun rather than showing the predefined options between the two selected coord. systems!

Right-click export should work just like ArcMap, give the user the option to quickly select the coordinate systems and transformation settings already defined in the map's properties.

1 Comment
ChristopherCounsell

If you choose map's coord. system, it then uses whatever projection option you have chosen in your data frame properties to complete the export into your target shapefile.

Does it? Looking at the documentation, it suggests that you will write spatially inaccurate data and that you should use the Project tool instead.

https://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/latest/map/working-with-layers/exporting-features.htm

When you export data from ArcMap, you can choose to create a new feature class using a different coordinate system than that of the source data, the coordinate system of the data frame or the coordinate system of the feature dataset to which you are exporting the data.

When you export data to a feature dataset in a geodatabase, it will use the coordinate system of the feature dataset. If you export data as a stand-alone feature class or to a file-based data source, it will have the same coordinate system as the source data.

With theProjectgeoprocessing tool, you can make a copy of your data, change its coordinate system, and transform the shapes in the data to use the new coordinate system. You can use theProjectgeoprocessing tool as part of a model or as you need it while working in ArcMap or ArcCatalog.

If your data's geographic coordinate system uses a different datum from that of the new feature class, you will likely write spatially inaccurate data. Instead of directly writing to the new feature class, make a copy of the original feature class and use theProjectgeoprocessing tool to reproject that feature class to the coordinate system that you ultimately want to use. As part of using theProjectgeoprocessing tool, you will be able to specify a datum transformation. Once you have projected the copy, you can copy it into the new workspace and delete the first copy. This applies to any workspace in ArcMap or a geoprocessing tool that is able to write new data.

This seems misleading and may be why they removed it from ArcGIS Pro.

Personally the export features is for a quick export. If I need to project the data, I'll use the Project tool. It's easier to identify that this has occurred in the geoprocessing history. It also gives you the experience you are after.

You can add the Project tool to your geoprocessing favorites or the analysis gallery.