So I'm trying to get the area of a buffer zone with a 50 meter buffer zone in ArcMap 10.6.1. Ideally, this would be 7853.98 meters, but when I check the Shape_Area (by using Project to change the coordinates from WGS 1984 to WGS 1984 Canada Atlas), the area is 8804.219131 meters instead. That's a pretty big difference. I checked and both coordinate systems both use meters as the base unit. What else could be wrong?

Note: The buffer zone is a small part of a process where I'm creating shapefiles from select portions of the buffer. For some reason I can't edit features created using a PCS instead a GCS, so that's why I'm having to convert coordinate systems.


You're calculating the area of your buffer in two different coordinate systems. When you change coordinate systems, the shape of the buffer will also change, and therefore the area of the buffer will change. In fact, the wgs 1984 coordinate system is not a projection, so Arc converts this to a PCS behind the scenes in order to calculate the area. I believe you can find out what this PCS is in the settings, and possibly change it.

  • Thank you so much for responding. I'll look into changing it. – BettaFische Jul 12 at 16:39

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