Forgive me, I'm a CAD person, and am very new to GIS. I've searched google and this site extensively for an answer, with no luck.

My problem is that I was given a large number of sistered Raster files; a TIFF and an accompanying .tfw file. The XY coordinates in the .tfw file are given in feet.

I've got these images to come in perfectly in CAD by setting the coordinates to UTM83-15 and manually declaring the input coordinates to be feet. It lines up perfectly.

However, when I try to use ArcMap, if I set the zone to UTM83 Zone 15N, it seems to force (logically so, I suppose) the input to be read as meters, which pushes everything ~3.28x up and to the right of where I want it.

I cannot for the life of me find a way to force it to be in feet, nor can I find the same coord system not in metric. Im about to write a script to go through and convert all the X-Y to meteres: an imperfect solution as I don't really want to manipulate my base data.

To fix this:

  1. Is there a way to force ArcMap to read an input file as feet while using a UTM 15 origin?
  2. Is there a foot based surrogate coordinate system with the same origin for UTM83-15N?
  • 1
    At the moment you are asking two questions which makes this too broad for the focussed Q&A format used here. Would you be able to edit your question so that it asks the more important of your two questions, and the one that the current answer best addresses, then research/ask your other question separately, please? – PolyGeo Jul 9 '14 at 21:48
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    Look for BLM zone 15N, which is the same as UTM 15N, but using US survey feet for the unit. – mkennedy Jul 9 '14 at 22:01

there are several categories in the utm section of esri crs projected.
go to the projected coordinate systems.
then to UTM,

utm section

Then look at the nad83 BLM (US Feet).


That should work in both autodesk and esri. (EPSG) 32165

  • 2
    OP needs nad83, not nad27, so EPSG:32165. – mkennedy Jul 9 '14 at 22:29
  • Yep. I poked the wrong one. I had the right one but redid my image. I'll update the image manana – Brad Nesom Jul 9 '14 at 23:38
  • This worked beautifully, thank you very much! (I found the 83 BLM one) – Terrik Jul 10 '14 at 15:05
  • you probably noted the nad27 is just at the top of the list. the nad83 at the bottom. – Brad Nesom Jul 10 '14 at 15:14

Have you tried making a custom projection?

Here is a walkthrough from esri knowledgebase.

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