I am having some issues with some CAD drawings that I have imported to ArcGIS. I have a number of CAD drawings where by the features within the drawing have an error in their coordinates. For example, the CAD file has a coordinate like 308092578,52639792281 where as it should read 308092.578, 52639792.281.

The result of this error is obviously causing the features to be placed far outside its actual location.

Is there any way to correct this error outside of manually moving the features?

  • 1
    Yes, there is! But you need to do it from AutoCAD. It all depends on units. It is probably set to millimeters in CAD when you want meters in GIS. I'm no CAD expert so I can't tell you how to adjust this (hence the comment), but if you have someone in your organization that knows CAD (or google it) you should be able to fix this quite easily.
    – Martin
    Jul 4, 2014 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


When you say that you have imported your CAD drawings into ArcGIS, I am assuming that you now have either file geodatabase feature classes or shapefiles.

Consequently you should be able to perform a spatial adjustment transformation on them:

Transformations move or shift data within a coordinate system. They are often used to convert data from unknown digitizer or scanner units to real-world coordinates. Transformations can also be used to convert units within a coordinate system, such as converting feet to meters.

In your case if, as suggested by @Martin, you will be converting from millimetres to meters then you will need to perform a blind transformation:

by creating displacement links with the from end at known locations and the to end at temporary points in space. You can then use the link table to edit the destination coordinates of these links to be the corresponding real-world locations.

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