I am trying to locate the date, scale, and coordinate system/projection of a shapefile in ArcMap but when I right click on the file in the table of contents and go to properties, I don't see the date or scale under the source tab.

I tried clicking on a feature with the identify tool but that also doesn't display the information.

How can I view this information from within ArcMap?

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    Neither date nor scale is a property of a shapefile. It's not a property of many of the other data formats used by ArcGIS, either. It there is XML metadata, that information may be present, but it isn't required and often isn't. If your shapefile doesn't have a .shp.xml file set member, there is no chance that this information is available from ArcMap. – Vince Jun 21 at 17:17
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    Your best bet is often to contact the person or organization that generated the data. As @Vince said, this info is sometimes in the metadata, but more often than not it's absent. – lambertj Jun 21 at 18:31
  • @vince so I was able to find it by changing the metadata style under customize > arcmap style. When I did that, the information appeared. – DMellon Jun 22 at 5:28

According to ISO 19115 every geographic information and services has its own metadata.

It provides information about the identification, the extent, the quality, the spatial and temporal schema, spatial reference, and distribution of digital geographic data. Date and scale are part of the metadata.

For the projection/coordinate system it's a part of your shapefile (data.prj). You could find this information by clicking right click on the file in the table of contents and go to properties. Sometimes you couldn't find the coordinate system (undefined). In this case no coordinate system was defined for the data.

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    This led me to the correct answer. I ended up finding documentation on viewing and editing metadata which led me to the solution of changing my metadata style by going to customize > arcmap style. When I did that, the data appeared. – DMellon Jun 22 at 5:27

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