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According to the documentation for Near Analysis the output units for the tool are in the linear units of the feature.

When accessing the properties of the feature class I can see where angular units are defined (as a result of the coordinate system), however I do not see where I can view or change the linear units of a feature.

The Data Source textbox from the Source tab for the Layer Properties of my point feature class does not contain a Linear Unit specification.

How do I access the linear units of a feature class?

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Instead of saying it "has a projection", perhaps saying it has a coordinate system would be more accurate. I don't think geographic cood systems have linear units. Did you try projecting it into a projected coordinate system first? –  Kirk Kuykendall Apr 10 '11 at 17:47
    
"According to the documentation for Near Analysis the output units for the tool are in the linear units of the feature." You know it says this but I have a hunch it is in the units of the map when run from an MXD (as opposed to programmatic operation). –  user17614 Aug 6 '13 at 19:19
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3 Answers 3

If the file has a defined coordinate system and it is projected, you should be able to see everything by right-clicking on the layer, selecting Properties then the Source tab. Information for the layer is shown as in this example:

Geometry Type: Point

Projected Coordinate System: NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_13N

....snip

Linear Unit: Meter

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Thank you, ammended question in response. My feature class's data source info does not contain a Linear Unit field. –  mindless.panda Apr 10 '11 at 17:11
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What is its projection then? If it is a Geographic Coordinate system (GCS) aka, unprojected, decimal degrees...then the X, Y units are in decimal degrees. A projected coordinate system can have units of Meters or Feet depending upon your projection. Check for a *.prj file and examine in a text editor. –  Dan Patterson Apr 10 '11 at 18:29
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You need to apply the coordinate system in ArcGIS and then rerun the near and hey presto. If you do not know the linear units please describe the source of your data and the location of your data and Im sure the community can work it out.

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The easiest way to change the coordinates from Geographic Coordinate System (GCS) to Projected Coordinate System (PCS) is to export the data.

Right-click on the layer in the Table of Contents > Data > Export data > use 'the data frame' > OK.

This produces an Export-Output layer that should be projected correctly.

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