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What is the process behind changing local coordinates into global coordinates?

Question asked by kaitlynabr on May 30, 2019
Latest reply on Jun 11, 2019 by MKennedy-esristaff

I am working on a zoning project for a small town in Montana and the layers I made into shapefiles from DGN files I have are in an unknown local coordinate system.  I want to change them to a global coordinate system (e.g. WGS 1984 or State Plane Montana), but I have no idea how to start.  Every time I define the projection, my layers are VERY disproportionate and in a totally wrong location.  How to I go about changing local coordinates?