I want to be able to load multiple datasets to my mxd, using various CRS (coordinate reference systems). Some of these datasets will use the same CRS, but with different transformations. When I load the first dataset to the project for a given CRS, I am prompted to specify the transformation. However, when loading subsequent datasets on the same CRS - the option to specify a different transformation is not available (it presumably uses the previous selection by default).

Is there any way to specify the CRS and transformation for every dataset loaded to my project (i.e. every time I load any data), and effectively disable this default setting? I do not want to have to use the project tool from the toolbox to effectively duplicate all of my data each time I wish to do this.

  • Should have emailed me directly, Craig!
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


Currently, this functionality is not supported in ArcGIS for Desktop (including the upcoming 10.4). A map (mxd) has a list of active geographic/datum transformations that are listed per pair of geographic coordinate reference systems (CRS). It's called, and you can access it in ArcObjects as the GeoTransformationOperationSet.

When you select transformation A, it's added to the list. If you then select transformation B and it's between the same GeoCRS as A, B will replace A in the list.

We have discussed in-house changing to a layer-based workflow, but haven't don't any work on it.

Disclosure: I work for Esri.

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