I need to put two grids on a map - one in NAD27 State Plane CA Zone 5, and the other in NAD83 State Plane CA Zone 5 (feet) and have the grids be formatted properly. If I go into the Data Frame Properties within ArcMap and create these two grids, I get the output below (I added the coordinate system name in a box on the map for reference).

Map containing two coordinate systems

The desired result will have both the NAD27 and NAD83 SPCS CA Zone 5 labels on either side of the same line, and have the E. or N. prefix to the values. The image below is a mockup of the desired grid layout.

Map containing properly formatted grid

Does anyone have suggestions on how to create a grid that contain the correct values for two coordinate systems? I wrote a Python script and am using Data Driven Pages to create ~1,900 maps formatted in this way, so it doesn't seem like an option to convert the grids to graphics.

  • 1
    That's certainly an option, and if you want a single grid with values from two different CRS's is probably the easiest way to go. It also has the advantage of being visible in data view, unlike a graticule which is a property of the dataframe and only visible in layout view. The typical way two different graticules are shown displays the same values in each, resulting in offset grids. See resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#//… for an example. You should probably post your comment as an answer - it's ok to answer your own question.
    – Chris W
    Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 6:30

1 Answer 1


I think I got this figured out. I used the Create Fishnet tool on a feature class of NAD83 State Plane CA 5 to create vertical and horizontal lines. Then I calculated the northing and easting values, in different fields, in NAD 83. After that I changed the dataframe to NAD27 and calculated the northing and easting in that system. After running a few field calculations, I could create a custom overlay of the northing and easting values in NAD83 and NAD27 State Plane CA Zone 5.

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