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I'm trying to write a python program that returns the distance from each point in a set to the nearest road.

Specifically, I was looking for any points within 10 meters of the roads.

Both sets of data use WGS84 coordinates.

Near_analysis runs just fine and returns the right results when using "10 Meters" for the radius option, but the distances returned are in degrees, and I want them in meters for further analysis.

I know I can use a different projection and get the meter measurements I am looking for, but if Near_analysis can search for a radius that is measured in meters, why can't it return results in meters?

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    You seem to have answered your own question. You know that using a different coordinate system that uses meters will return distances in meters, so why not reproject your data first? The documentation even states: The distances calculated by this tool are in the unit of the coordinate system of the input features. If your input is in a geographic coordinate system and you want output distances to be measured in a linear unit...you must first project your input to a projected coordinate system using Project. – Jason Scheirer Oct 2 '14 at 18:46
  • I understand that, but why can't I return meters if I can search using meters. If the tool calculates distances in meters to satisfy my search, why can't I just see those results? – Jack Mason Oct 2 '14 at 18:57
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    It's a fair question, but perhaps one better suited for Esri's ArcGIS Ideas site :) – nmpeterson Oct 2 '14 at 19:11
  • Would you be able to update your question to include the version of ArcGIS for Desktop that you are using, please? The documentation for Near at 10.2 looks to have been revised since 10.0 so it will be easier to advise if we know what you are using first. – PolyGeo Oct 6 '14 at 0:53

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