I have a shapefile that has meters as coordinates, and these do not reference world datums or projections.

Is there a way to assign completely new coordinates to the shapefile so that they align with normal WGS1984 datums and I can open this file along with other maps?

The file I am using is one of the layers from the map on this link: https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=103b63dcc9f448acbd63f22b728b1a02

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    – SMiller
    Nov 7, 2018 at 20:26
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    If you want to reproject your data use the "project" tool from arcmap toolbox.
    – MrXsquared
    Nov 7, 2018 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


First, confirm the coordinate system of your data by right clicking on the layer and going to Source. In this case, it shows as the following

Projected Coordinate System:    WGS_1984_Web_Mercator_Auxiliary_Sphere
Projection: Mercator_Auxiliary_Sphere False_Easting:    0.00000000
False_Northing: 0.00000000 Central_Meridian:    0.00000000
Standard_Parallel_1:    0.00000000 Auxiliary_Sphere_Type:   0.00000000
Linear Unit:    Meter

Geographic Coordinate System:   GCS_WGS_1984 Datum:     D_WGS_1984 Prime
Meridian:   Greenwich Angular Unit:     Degree

To change the coordinate system to match another dataset, use the Project tool, found in Data Management. The important thing to remember is that you need to Project (change the projection) rather than Defining a projection, as the latter will give you the wrong output.

If you already have a dataset whose coordinate system you wish to match, there's an option on the output coordinate system selection dialog box to Import.

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