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Buffer not showing on map, but viewable in Table of Contents

11-30-2015 06:04 PM
New Contributor II

I am completing Assignment 9-1 in GIS Tutorial ArcGIS 10.1 Book. I am suppose to set the map to a UTM for California (either 10N or 11N). I am then suppose to add a California Counties layer and Earthquakes layer (which has the same projection as my map and was added from my File Geodatabase). Then I set up a definition query in my Earthquakes layer to have only the earthquakes with an MMI of 7 AND after the year of 1985.

I am suppose to have a 20 mile buffer for each earthquake. I went to Geoprocessing -> Buffer -> Selected my Earthquakes layer -> Saved the output in my File Geodatabase -> Linear Unit as 20 miles -> Dissolve Unit: None. The buffer was added to my Table of Contents, but nothing showed up on my map. I made sure that the buffer had the NAD 1983 projection which was what the map asked for. I also clicked "Zoom to Layer," and only saw small dots with lines coming out of them, but no buffer on my Earthquakes. I also tried to go to export the layer into a UTM projection. However, even with a UTM projection, the buffer layer wouldn't show on the map.

I am not sure why I am getting this error.

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1 Reply
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi Jennifer,

Okay, a few questions.

What's the data frame using? NAD 1983 UTM 10N or 11N?

Did the definition query work?

What coordinate system is the earthquake layer in? NAD 1983 (a geographic coordinate system)?

What's the coordinate system of the buffer layer? I think it should be NAD 1983 (lat/lon).

What are the extents of the buffer layer? Please add it to a new data frame.

One possibility is that the buffer layer has a UTM coordinate system, but the actual coordinate values are in decimal degrees. That would lead to the buffer data being far to the south west of the other layers in the data frame (in UTM).

That's a good try, exporting the layer. Unfortunately, if the data's already not showing up, exporting while reprojecting it isn't going to help.