I'm a student fairly new to using GIS. I am doing a college project on using ArcGIS to map virtual worlds (such as the continents in World of Warcraft). The game programmers used a custom coordinate system. "Map coordinates are a percentage of the width and height of these images" to quote this site: WoWWiki: Coordinate-safe maps

The maps are all rectangular images with the same proportion ( 1.5:1 ) The in-game distances and geography seem to match the visual appearance of the maps. It's a "flat earth" world rather than a sphere. So there is no visual distortion as there would be on an Earth projection. I want to use a coordinate system that matches the x-y coordinates used by the game and displays correctly on the map image used as a layer - without turning the image from an oblong into a square.

Is there a way to use or make a coordinate system in ArcGIS where the X coordinates are "stretched" relative to the Y ?

Tried to give as much detail as possible. Hope it makes sense.

  • 1
    Generally "world" cylindrical projections are 2:1 which makes sense as it's 360 degrees to 180 degrees. Miller cylindrical is 1.36:1.
    – mkennedy
    Jan 29 '15 at 20:14
  • Sounds like using one of the cylindrical projections would cause less visual distortion of the image I have to work with. Which is my main reason for choosing one projection over another.
    – Bruce Long
    Jan 31 '15 at 20:01

For ArcGIS the coordinate system will always use the same unit for X and Y. Basically, if your map is a 1.5:1 image and you don't define a coordinate system, you can display it in any projection and it will remain 1.5:1 rectangle.

If you want to distort your map, you can use the georeferencing toolbar. Once you've create a world file (e.g. tfw for tif) with "update georeferencing", you can edit it in a text editor and change the resolution of your image in the X pixel size.

  • This info looks helpful. If I understand the last part of your suggestion I can change the x while the y remains constant. Is that correct?
    – Bruce Long
    Jan 31 '15 at 19:49
  • yes, this will distort your image by stretching it in one direction.
    – radouxju
    Feb 1 '15 at 20:26

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