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Why am I seeing alignment issues between ArcOnline Landsat and World Imagery?

Question asked by vce501 on Sep 6, 2018
Latest reply on Jul 13, 2020 by DDexter@Ocalafl.org_ocalafl

I am wondering why I am seeing alignment issues with Landsat 8 Pansharpened and World Imagery, both layers added from ArcGIS  directly from within ArcMap (10.5). Below are screenshots of my issue. The polygon is just a digitized forest boundary. You can see how the boundary makes sense when viewing the World Imagery, but it's misaligned when viewing the same polygon with the Landsat underneath.


Two images: one with digitized polygon with ESRI's Landsat 8 Pansharpened in background, other with same polygon and ESRI's World Imagery in background.

Below are the Source Properties from both layers. As far as I can tell they are the same. I made no adjustments to anything after they were added from Arc, as far as I am aware.

Two images: Source info for Landsat and Source info for World Imagery.

Below is the Source info for the Data Frame, in case that is helpful information.



WKID: 3969 Authority: EPSG


Projection: Lambert_Conformal_Conic

False_Easting: 0.0

False_Northing: 0.0

Central_Meridian: -79.5

Standard_Parallel_1: 37.0

Standard_Parallel_2: 39.5

Latitude_Of_Origin: 36.0

Linear Unit: Meter (1.0)


Geographic Coordinate System: GCS_North_American_1983_HARN

Angular Unit: Degree (0.0174532925199433)

Prime Meridian: Greenwich (0.0)

Datum: D_North_American_1983_HARN

  Spheroid: GRS_1980

    Semimajor Axis: 6378137.0

    Semiminor Axis: 6356752.314140356

    Inverse Flattening: 298.257222101


Under Transformations within Data Frame Properties, I have GCS_WGS_1984 Into: GCS_North_American_1983_HARN Using: NAD_1983_HARN_To_WGS_1984_2.


Not sure what I'm missing here. This misalignment doesn't matter for my purposes, but I am curious about why it occurs. Any information would be helpful, and thanks in advance for the help.


EDIT: I've tried adding these two layers, World Imagery and Pansharpened Landsat in a new MXD, and I experience the same issue. It appears that in relation to the World Imagery, the Landsat layer experiences a subtle slide to the southeast. I don't believe this is just due to the resolution being substantially different, as this consistent directional shift is pretty apparent everywhere as far as I can tell. It also doesn't seem to be shadows making it look like a slide, but I guess that's possible.


EDIT AGAIN: Does this have something to do with the fact that both of these layers are made up of stitched together remotely sensed imagery, each tile of which is essentially a "flat" representation of a curved surface, so there will be some distortion at the edge of each "tile?" I would understand if that was the case, but it still appears to be a uniform misalignment, with the Landsat always sliding southeast relative to the World Imagery, so I don't know how this explanation would apply.