I am currently trying to run a kernel density analysis and need to change the co-ordinate system to a UTM measurement in order to set some meaningful biological constraints to my seabird data (eg, Search Area and cell size output). The best out come i am wanting is to set these in meters.

Currently my data is point data (XY or .CSV) and set in GCS_Australian_1984. I have been trying to change GCS_Australian_1984 to WGS 1984 UTM zone 12s (not sure if this an appropriate conversion in terms of file comparability) and when i run the "project" tool in data management i keep getting an error that says "table name is invalid" and "The project method cannot do a datum transformation".

My data is located in an area of W: 110 N: -6 S: -21.5 E: 131 (Timor Sea(Southern Hemishpere))

Is there any way or a recommendation, that i can transform my data into a format where kernel density analysis will give meters and not SQUARE_MAP_UNITS, this is not very meaningful to me.

Ps This is a good summary of what i am trying to achieve (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3GP-IiQ-0Q) at 5 minutes and 16 sec and using arcmap 10.1


For any one having similar issues with getting your kernel density values (Search area or cell size out put) into biological terms then here is how to do it.

If you have point data add it as X and Y data under your "normal" co-ordinate system. File > add data > add XY data.

Then right click on the layer that was just imported. A tab will appear, select data > Export data > a box will appear select the file directory and export as a shape file.

then import this shape file back into arcmap 10.1 and change the co-ordinate system to UTM and save. this can be done in the data management tab in the arctool box and is under projections and transformations, select the project tool.

then run your kernel density with the transformed shape file. The option area units should be "ungreyed" select your units and done.

NOTE: XY data can not be transformed into UTMs it has to be changed into a shape file and reimported.

  • Would you be able to edit your question to include whether your point data is in a shapefile, file geodatabase feature class, or another format, please? – PolyGeo Jul 7 '14 at 2:39
  • the data is just in XY or csv from excel. I am thinking that from your comment below it needs to be in a shape file?? – Mr Angus Jul 7 '14 at 4:35
  • Getting XY data into a shapefile should probably be researched/asked as a separate question but there are instructions here - once you have a shapefile make sure that it knows that those numbers are GCS_AGD_1984 by checking its Properties, and then proceed to the Project step described in my answer. – PolyGeo Jul 7 '14 at 4:43

A geodesist could give better advice than me on your choice of coordinate system but UTM Zone 12S (which I think is around Sri Lanka or the Maldives) seems odd.

When I draw your study area (small grid) up against Australia and the MGA Zones it looks like you should probably be using WA Albers (for which I do not have the parameters handy) but Australia Albers will do a reasonable job anyway.

enter image description here

To use Australia Albers you can use the parameters in the graphic below.

enter image description here

Note: If the Geographic Transformation in the graphic (I took the default) gives you any problems (for me Project hangs at 39% of processing) then just use AGD_1984_To_GDA_1994 instead.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.