Shift in layers when zooming in / out

03-18-2015 09:51 AM
New Contributor

Hello Folks,

I am using ArcGIS Desktop 10.2 and have always had issue with shift in shape files when zooming in and out on a nautical chart map overlaid.

I am in seismic exploration and hence its very important to have the block polygons referenced correctly to a nautical chart.

When I load a block polygon in Shape file, DXF, KML or which ever format. When I zoom in and out, the map / shape files shifts quite a bit and hence its very difficult to say whats correct and whats not.

Also when I load two separate nautical chart next to each other with exactly the same scale and resolution, they still don't line up together when

Have any one of you come across this issue before and what is the solution to this.

Appreciate your expertise.



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2 Replies
MVP Frequent Contributor

What is likely going on is that some of your spatial data have incomplete spatial references.  While ArcMap has the capability to "project on the fly", it can only do so effectively if all the data have full spatial references.

For example, you mention that CAD data is being viewed.  It is fairly common for CAD files to have a coordinate system that matches the one commonly used for an area, but to lack a projection.  Because the coordinates are the same as other data, it loosely lines up with the other data that have the same coodinate system.  But because it lacks the projection, it will be off by a bit.

I'd suggest checking the spatial reference information for all your data layers and for ArcMap itself.  ArcMap needs to be checked as the Data Frame inherits the spatial information of the first data layer you loaded into it.


Right-click on the "Layers" heading (Data Frame) in the Table of Contents.

Right-click, then choose Properties

Then choose the Coordinates tab and see what spatial reference is set.

For Data layers loaded into ArcMap

Right-click on the layer in the Table of Contents

Choose Properties

Click on the Source tab

Scroll down to see the spatial reference information.

It can be OK for their to be different spatial reference information, as long as the layers have complete spatial reference information.  So if you have data in UTM and State Plane, that can be OK.

What are Map Projections?

ArcGIS Help (10.2, 10.2.1, and 10.2.2)

Specifying a Coordinate system

IArcGIS Help (10.2, 10.2.1, and 10.2.2)

Chris Donohue, GISP

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New Contributor

I have same issue ,while zoom in,plotted data shifted from actual location.Can Anyone give the solution?

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