Information on the Coordinate Systems desktop install?

12-23-2016 11:37 AM
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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Looking for more information about the optional install of coordinate systems. The What's new document for Desktop 10.5 document says this:

ArcGIS Coordinate Systems Data—Contains the data files required for the GEOCON transformation method and vertical transformation files for the United States (VERTCON and GEOID12B) and the world (EGM2008).

but I'm not seeing any discussion in the help documents for 10.5. I'm thinking some of our users may have need for this but I am having trouble finding more information. Is there an article, blog post, Esri UC session, or anything like that available that I can point my users to?

13 Replies
MVP Emeritus

besides this thread 

perhaps MKennedy-esristaff‌ might has some links

MVP Esteemed Contributor

I agree, the online documentation is rather sparse.  That said, there isn't much to ArcGIS Coordinate Systems Data.  In the thread referenced by Dan, Melita states that they pulled out these coordinate system data files because of their size.  The Select Features installation screen gives an idea of just how big.  I single world geoid model file is nearly 900 MB installed on disk.

Esri Notable Contributor

I didn't get my act together to get a longer topic into the help for ArcGIS Desktop/Server 10.5 or ArcGIS Pro 1.4. I was specifically tasked with writing a white paper/blog posts/etc. about it. Maybe this week, while it's quiet! 

Particularly for ArcGIS Pro, we're trying to keep the core setup as small as possible. Adding even the 2.5'x2.5' EGM2008 and the GEOCON files is close to 0.5 GB. Management said NO. We had discussed making a separate data install years ago, when the ArcGIS Desktop install was creeping towards requiring either another CD or maybe a DVD, but managed to scrape through.

So with geoid models coming from several countries, and more grid-file-based transformations all the time, it was decided that we've start a separate setup for that data. It also allows customers to decide to not install everything if they want. At some point, we'll likely move the existing NADCON/HARN/NTv2 files from the core setups into this separate setup, but there's no timeline for that yet.

There are two versions of the data setups. One is 32-bit and used for Desktop, Server, Engine, etc. The other is 64-bit and currently used only for ArcGIS Pro. The separation has mostly to do with being able to access the 32-bit and 64-bit registries, but ArcGIS Pro is also the one most likely to get out-of-sync with the others when dealing with release schedules.

The GEOCON files are for the US and convert between the latest NAD 1983 HARN, NAD83 (NSRS2007), and NAD83 (2011). These files are from the GEOCON and GEOCON11 1.0 versions. There's a new version in beta from the NGS, that includes multiple HARN realizations (the last one is now called an FBN). While it's in beta, we haven't added support for them yet. The transformations that use these files are:







The Vertical folder contains the EGM84 and EGM2008 2.5'x2.5' files. The EGM96 file is already in the core software. The EGM2008 1'x1' has a separate entry in the setup because it's so large. We aren't using it by default because of that.




WGS_1984_To_EGM_1996_Geoid_2 (interpolation is natural spline)


WGS_1984_To_EGM_1984_Geoid_2 (interpolation is natural spline)

The Vertical folder also contains the US Geoid12b files (Alaska, Guam and Northern Marianas, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and CONUS) and the VERTCON files. We have the east, central, and west files, plus a combined one that we built in-house.




NAD_1983_2011_To_PRVD02_GEOID12B_Height (Puerto Rico)

NAD_1983_PA11_To_ASVD02_GEOID12B_Height (American Samoa)

NAD_1983_MA11_To_GUVD04_GEOID12B_Height (Guam)

NAD_1983_2011_To_VIVD09_GEOID12B_Height (US Virgin Islands)

NAD_1983_MA11_To_NMVD03_GEOID12B_Height (Northern Marianas)




NAD_1983_To_PRVD02_GEOID12B_Height (Puerto Rico)

NAD_1983_To_VIVD09_GEOID12B_Height (US Virgin Islands)




NGVD29_To_NAVD88_NAD27_ECW (conus grid)




NGVD29_To_NAVD88_NAD83_ECW (conus grid)




NGVD29_To_NAVD88_HARN_ECW (conus grid)

Note: The NAD27/NAD83/HARN in the transformation name indicates the GeoCRS used to interpolate the offset values from the grid files. The VERTCON files are imprecise enough that it doesn't matter which NAD83 adjustment you use for the interpolation. However, we still need to them listed separately. We may end up adding NSRS2007 and 2011 variants in a future release.

We had a few new NTv2 grids that ended up in the new setup as well. I suggested putting them in the core software with the existing ones, but no go. For Switzerland, we added a replacement for an existing grid, CHENYX06_etrs.gsb. For the UK, we added OSTN15_NTv2.gsb and osgb36_xrail84.gsb. The latter is for the CrossRail project in the greater London area. The transformations that use these files are below:







I'm working on other countries' geoid files but redistribution rights are often an issue.


***Edited to list the transformations that use these files.

New Contributor


I am having issues getting the coordinate systems to install properly to be able to use the Geoid12B. Is there something special I am supposed to be doing on the installer? It runs and give success, but the systems are not showing up to select for transformation. I believe in another thread you stated it uses the hvtdefaults.json to look up the transformation. Does the installer update this file to include the new transformations?

Esri Notable Contributor

The json file already lists transformations whether the data is there or not. It's more likely that the particular path you need isn't in the file. It's missing quite a bit of cases. If you can post (or email me, mkennedy at esri) the source and target coordinate systems, I can check the json file for you. 


Occasional Contributor II

My sources to support the idea of using ArcMap 10.4.1 are attached.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Update on this topic, here is the installer for the separate Coordinate Systems package for 10.7. (Note, no changes apparently since Joshua Bixby‌'s screenshot above with 10.5, except maybe more data added to NTv2 for local areas?)

It seems North American GEOCON and NTv2 are horizontal transformations in North America, and the other two are for support of vertical transformations for North America and the wide world.  

Melita Kennedy  Did that white paper ever appear? I guess the question I have is whether we should be using NTv2 instead of NADCON if we need cm accuracy as it sounds like it is NADCON improved from the descriptions I read.  Would be great to have some guidance on these new capabilities for the vast number of us geodetically unwashed. Margaret Maher‌ I sure hope you are planning for more excellent explication in a fourth edition of my favorite Esri Press book Lining Up Data.

ArcGIS Desktop 10.7 Coordinate Systems install dialog

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Esri Notable Contributor

Nope. I'm just terrible about writing and haven't done it yet. But here is an update on the additions to the setup for 10.6.0 / Pro 2.1, 10.6.1 / Pro 2.2, and 10.7.0 / Pro 2.3!

GEOCON files are strictly US. We added the main NAD27 to NAD83 NTv2 for Canada. Other NTv2 files are for various countries. NTv2 is the usual file format used for geographic/datum transformations, although I've occasionally seem NADCON files used elsewhere than the US. The Vertical World 1x1 option is for the 1'x1' EGM2008 file. It's almost 1 GB by itself so has a special option to not install it. All other vertical files are in the "vertical" option. That includes geoid models and other file-based transformations for Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, US (geoid12b), the 2.5'x2.5' EGM2008 file, and EGM84 (world).

Geographic/Datum transformations

10.7.0 / 2.3

ntv2-ch03p-etrs.gsb  Switzerland CH1903+_To_CHTRF95_NTv2


BD72LB72_ETRS89LB08  Belgium  Belge_1972_To_ETRS_1989_3  

10.6.1  / 2.2

GDA94_GDA2020_conformal                 Australia  GDA_1994_To_GDA2020_NTv2_3_Conformal

GDA94_GDA2020_conformal_and_distortion  Australia  GDA_1994_To_GDA2020_NTv2_3_Conformal

10.6.0 / 2.1

BALR2009  Spain  ED_1950_To_WGS_1984_NTv2_BALR2009


PENR2009  Spain  ED_1950_To_ETRS_1989_NTv2_PENR2009


UPDATE 20 November 2019!! I missed this Canadian file:

Ntv2_0.gsb  Canada  NAD_1927_To_NAD_1983_NTv2_Canada



10.6.1 / 2.2

chgeo2004_ETRS  Switzerland  CHTRF95_To_LHN95_Height

10.6.0 / 2.1

JGEOID2008    Japan  JGD_2000_To_JGD_2000_Vertical_Height_1

GSIGEOID2011  Japan  JGD_2011_To_JGD_2011_Vertical_Height_1

New_Zealand_Quasigeoid_2016  New Zealand  NZGD2000_To_NZGD2016_Height_1

auckland_1946_to_nzvd2016    New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Auckland_1946_Height_1

bluff_1955_to_nzvd2016       New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Bluff_1955_Height_1

dunedin_1958_to_nzvd2016     New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Dunedin_1958_Height_1

Dunedin-Bluff_1960_to_nzvd2016  New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Dunedin-Bluff_1960_Height_1

gisborne_1926_to_nzvd2016    New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Gisborne_1926_Height_1

lyttelton_1937_to_nzvd2016   New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Lyttelton_1937_Height_1

moturiki_1953_to_nzvd2016    New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Moturiki_1953_Height_1

napier_1962_to_nzvd2016      New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Napier_1962_Height_1

nelson_1955_to_nzvd2016      New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Nelson_1955_Height_1

one_tree_point_1964_to_nzvd2016  New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_One_Tree_Point_1964_Height_1

stewart_island_1977_to_nzvd2016  New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Stewart_Island_1977_Height_1

taranaki_1970_to_nzvd2016    New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Taranaki_1970_Height_1

wellington_1953_to_nzvd2016  New Zealand  NZVD2016_Height_To_Wellington_1953_Height_1

auckland_1946_to_nzgd2000    New Zealand  Auckland_1946_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

bluff_1955_to_nzgd2000       New Zealand  Bluff_1955_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

dunedin_1958_to_nzgd2000     New Zealand  Dunedin_1958_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

Dunedin-Bluff_1960_to_nzgd2000  New Zealand  Dunedin-Bluff_1960_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

gisborne_1926_to_nzgd2000    New Zealand  Gisborne_1926_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

lyttelton_1937_to_nzgd2000   New Zealand  Lyttelton_1937_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

moturiki_1953_to_nzgd2000    New Zealand  Moturiki_1953_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

napier_1962_to_nzgd2000      New Zealand  Napier_1962_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

nelson_1955_to_nzgd2000      New Zealand  Nelson_1955_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

one_tree_point_1964_to_nzgd2000  New Zealand  One_Tree_Point_1964_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

stewart_island_1977_to_nzgd2000  New Zealand  Stewart_Island_1977_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

taranaki_1970_to_nzgd2000    New Zealand  Taranaki_1970_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

wellington_1953_to_nzgd2000  New Zealand  Wellington_1953_Height_To_NZGD2000_Height_1

UPDATE: Added Canadian NTv2 file to the 10.6.0 / Pro 2.1 entries on 20 November 2019.

New Contributor

Is there a location where this Coordinate Systems Data can be downloaded from to use in ArcGIS Pro? All links I have seen to download have pointed me to the myesri page which has no information on it about the Coordinate Systems Data. I wasn't able to find any kind of valuable answer to this on this thread or anywhere else. Is this something that should be setup during the install of Pro?