Here is an example of my issue:
enter image description here
There are two point layers displayed in this image:
The yellow dots are my currently used layer with the most updated data.
The green dots are legacy data from when the points were originally collected.

The green dot positions are accurate.
As you can see, the yellow ones have shifted south-west by a considerable amount.

The yellow positions are from a Geodatabase I have created, amassing all of the data into one spot.
The green positions are from an original shapefile before being appended to the Geodatabase.

Both layers have the same information under "Source":
EDIT: Within the data frame, they have the same coordinate system. But from the Catalog properties, they are different

  • Projected Coordinate System: NAD 1983 StatePlane Oklahoma North FIPS 3501 Feet
  • Projection: Lambert Conformal Conic
  • Yellow Geographic Coordinate System: GCS North American 1983
  • Green Geographic Coordinate System: WGS 1984 UTM Zone 10N
  • Datum: D North American 1983

The offset seems to be pretty consistent across all of the data points.
Does anyone have an idea of how this happened to my data?
(Highly likely that it was user-error on my part, but I need to know how to reverse this mess I have made)

  • I'm not following your bulleted list because I don't see anything that is 'the same' there. The dataframe has a projection - is that the state plane one? Your yellow and green layers also have two more different CRS, one of which is geographic and one of which is projected, on top of which they're in different datums which means at some point, whether it was during the append or when added to the dataframe, you should have gotten a warning and/or specified a transformation between the two (NAD83 and WGS84). Did you do so? And UTM is projected, not geographic.
    – Chris W
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 9:48
  • I'm not even sure I know enough about coordinate systems to answer your question. I do have a transformation set up in my data frame, but, at this point I doubt if that's helping anything at all.
    – Nomkins
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 13:59
  • Screenshots of dialogs can help clear up any confusion of your bulleted list. The properties > source/coordinate system tabs of the layers/dataframe shows what each is set to. Regardless of what the layers are, they're being reprojected on the fly to whatever the dataframe is. That's where the transformation comes in and can impact where the points show up. Without knowing exact steps/tools/settings used, I can't say how/where the problem occurred or the best/appropriate way to fix it. Is yellow just combined green shapefiles? Will you lose anything starting over, like changes to yellow?
    – Chris W
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 23:11

1 Answer 1


It seems you've a problem with the coordinate system. Now you've the same CS for both layers but probably one of them has the wrong one. You should try to check this first, then, if this is the error, you need to define the right projection before reproject for the system you want.

If this is not the error, as the shift position is consistent, you can fix it in editing mode. You should select all the yellow points and then, with the snapping on, you move one yellow point (if they are all selected they will all move) for the correspondent green point. This way you will fix the problem.

  • Manually overlapping the two layers is my quick and dirty solution to fall back on. I'll look into re-projecting and see if that helps any.
    – Nomkins
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 18:08
  • 1
    Did you set a transformation to/from WGS 84 in your data frame?
    – John
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 20:53

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