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I can zoom to my data, but it is not where it belongs! Can you help me figure this out?

August 31 2007 | 0 comments

I am trying to download new lake files to my map, and I already downloaded the file and
unzipped it. When I pull up my map and insert the shape file, it doesn't show on my map anywhere,
but I can zoom to that layer and see the lakes. I tried going to Arc Catalog and changing the
projection, and even though it let me do it, the lakes still don't show up on my map of the state.
Can you help me figure this out?

Mapping Center Answer:

This problem is usually caused by not having a projection defined for your data. This can mean either that data you already have in your map (if they all overlay already and they are not defined, you need to define the projections for all the data layers), or it can refer to the data you are adding to the map.

To fix it, first check the projection of the original lakes data (not the one you changed) -- is it defined already? If not, use the Define Projection tool to specify what the projection. Remember that to define the projection, use the Define Projection tool, not the PROJECT tool. The Define Projection tool does not perform a projection transformation so if you want to change projections from one to another, use the PROJECT tool instead.

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