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Via a Python script - various shapefiles were loaded into SDE with no spatial reference set. This causes a strange problem - when you view the featureclass in ArcCatalog (geography view) - it shows the following dialog:

enter image description here

When you look at the Resolution tab of the featureclass it has an invalid resolution value:

enter image description here

It should normally show a small value - like as 0.000000001. The resolution is effecively a mulitplier or divider that ESRI GDB storage uses to convert real numbers of the vertex coordinates into integers for storage, so in this context, ‘0’ is invalid as you can’t divide by zero.

Is there any way to change this value?, as it is certainly not editable in the dialog and Calcualate Default XY Tolerance in ArcToolbox does not work. Can it be altered by ArcObjects - or could that break things.

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Sounds like since you have no spatial reference set, SDE cannot figure out the spatial extent, therefore it cannot draw it. Can you reload with a spatial reference? – Chad Cooper Jan 19 '12 at 21:32
Yes - you can reload and it works fine - but I've found out that there are hundreds of featureclasses like this. So I'm kinda hoping I can fix them in situ. (By the way it makes no difference if you set the correct spatial extent while the FC is in SDE, you still get the same problem). – Vidar Jan 19 '12 at 22:08
I've been there. I guess, spatial data were designed to have spatial references, so when you import data into any ESRI database it checks extent of the FC. Importing .shp without spatial reference just look like your example. The only way I found, is to assign SR to .shp and than import it again. Even if you succeed to load the data w/o SR, you will not be able to add features outside the FC extent. I hope that someone will find solution, I'm looking forward to this. – Tomek Jan 20 '12 at 8:51
Make a feature dataset the way you need it to be and import your fc there. – user7007 Apr 18 '12 at 1:35
Then, take them back out if you wish. – user7007 Apr 18 '12 at 1:38

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