Data Frame Unit's Display Won't Change

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08-20-2016 07:44 AM
Occasional Contributor

I need to change a Data Frame's Unit Display which is currently Degrees Decimal Minutes..  I open View | Data Frame and then in the dialog under Units Display, select Decimal Degrees from the drop-down menu.and click Apply.  Nothing happens.  When I click on OK to go back to the Data Frame the Unit's Display is unchanged, still showing Degrees Decimal Minutes.  How to fix this please?  Thanks very much.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Sounds like you have data without a defined coordinate system in the data frame.  Check the properties of the layers and see what is reported

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Occasional Contributor

Dan, thanks.  There are two coordinate systems associated with this data frame:

  • NAD_1927_StatePlane_Virginia_South_FiPS_4502
  • GCS_North_American_1927

The data frame's base map is ArcGIS topographic.  On top of that is a georeferenced 1918 USGS topo map which is associated with the NAD coordinate system.  I'm assuming that the GCS coordinate system is associated with the basemap, but maybe not?  Maybe that's the problem?

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

set the dataframe's coordinate system to the nad27 system, I bet it is geographic and converting geographic to metric makes no sense

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Occasional Contributor

When I went to do that this popped up:

Pressing the Transformations ... button showed this:

I have no idea what these additional GCSs are associated with.  Having never encountered this before, not sure what the right thing to do is.

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Honored Contributor

Could also be a glitch. Choose the Display Unit as "Decimal Degrees" (Data Frame Properties) > Save the document. Close all ArcMap sessions and opening it again.

If it doesn't work out, try opening a new MXD and define the desired coordinate system to its data frame > Change the Display Units. Then add the respective layers to it.

New Contributor III

I know this thread is ancient but there is an ESRI bug report that addresses the issue that I found while observing the same problem today. https://support.esri.com/en/technical-article/000011883

The bug is appropriately titled:

Bug: After setting the data frame display units to Degrees Minutes Seconds, the display units cannot switch to Decimal Degrees

Regards,

Tom

MVP Esteemed Contributor

the bug was for ArcGIS for Desktop Standard 10.1, 10.2

so most people wouldn't notice since they aren't in support any more