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Buffer tools not working properly when set in Decimal Degrees for Planetary Bodies

04-18-2023 03:06 AM
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New Contributor

Dear all,

I noticed that when using Pairwise Buffer and Buffer tools on a project using non-Earth coordinate systems it provides wrong results when the following settings are used:

  • Linear Unit set to Decimal Degrees
  • Method: either Planar or Geodesic

I paid attention to setting up the same coordinate system (in my case, Mercury 2015) for both my project and the feature from which I wanted to create the buffer (in my case, a 20° dd buffer from a given point).

The generated buffer is far too large and not corresponding to the actual size it should be. I tried to generate the same buffer on an Earth-WGS84 project and this time, the buffer was correct.

Since the Mercury sphere I am using is much smaller than the Earth, a 1 DD buffer should generate a much smaller buffer distance on the surface. I suspect that, when the linear unit is set to Decimal Degrees, the Pairwise Buffer and Buffer tools calculate the buffer distance based on the WGS84 sphere, regardless of the project and input feature reference system. Has anyone noticed the same issue?


Kind regards,



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