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I'm working with only a basic/student license for ArcGIS 10.1 on an ocean mapping project.

I've created a grid that covers all ocean area, capturing various characteristics within that grid (the grid is now in point data).

I now need to add the distance from each point to the edge of various polygons (shipping lanes, countries) but need geodesic distance because of the large distance covered.

I read that if you keep the data in a geographic coordinate system, unprojected, the distances generated through various measuring tools in ArcGIS automatically measure in geodesic.

Is this true, and if not, is there a way to force geodesic measurements in various tools?

closed as unclear what you're asking by PolyGeo Nov 9 '15 at 5:07

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Yes, keep the coordinate system unprojected (geographic) and the calculated distances will be on the referenced ellipsoid - geodesic – Matej Oct 29 '15 at 20:04
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    You'll need to qualify which "various tools" you'll be using, since getting geodetic measurements may not be possible with all tools. – Vince Oct 29 '15 at 21:12
  • I agree with @Vince - can you let us know a particular tool that you are wanting to use, have tried, and think may not be using geodetic measurements, please? Asking about multiple tools in the one question would make this too broad. – PolyGeo Nov 9 '15 at 5:10