I have download the European grid DEM raster data from Copernicus website, which I would like to use to calculate solar radiation for smaller study site.

The ArcGIS:Area solar radiation tool requires that raster will be in projected coordinate system. So, how can I check if my current coordinate system is projected, or geographic?

Opening the raster file, I see in properties that Current coordinate system is ETRS89_ETRS_LAEA. But, is is projected or geographic? The EPSG code is missing. Googling ETRS89_ETRS_LAEA revelas EPSG: 3035, but the projection/geographic information is still missing: https://epsg.io/3035

enter image description here

Searching for properties, I again find both projected and geographic CS information: enter image description here

I have found a python scripting solution here: Determining if spatial reference Geographic or Projected using ArcObjects?

but maybe there is a simpler solution to answer this question without need to run a script? Something like a golden rule, without extra typing, googling, just simply included by ArcGIS engineers?

  • Just punch the EPSG code into google?
    – Erik
    Sep 9, 2019 at 12:11

3 Answers 3


In your first picture, below the Current coordinate system you can see :

Projection : Lambert_Azimutal-Equal_Area

(it's the LAEA part of your CRS name : ETRS89_ETRS_LAEA)

So yes you are in a projected coordinate system (a geographic coordinate system won't have a projection).

In your second picture you first get the parameter of the LAEA projection then below you get the parameter of the Geographic Coordinate System.

Both of your picture give you the same informations but in different form and both state that this is a projected CRS.

To get a better understanding of why you get information on both projected and geographic you could read these answer :

Understanding difference between Coordinate System and Projection?

Difference between projection and datum?


As @Erik commented you could search for the EPSG but even faster you can introduce the name of the coordinate system you are using in the menu that appears in your first image. Like this:

enter image description here

You can see then that this is under "Projected Coordinate Systems"


As documented on ESRI support website, the EPSG (acronym from European Petroleum Survey Group) codes in general correspond to WKID (well-known ID).

Majority of coordinate systems using by ESRI comes from the EPSG library, they are noted as Authority: EPSG. Some systems however come outside from EPSG library and as identification use WKID. Therefore, the Authority: Esri.

To see, if the particular WKID/EPSG number is in geographic or projected coordinate system, check these websites, and check how CS string start:

  • Geographic: GEOGCS[...]
  • Projected: PROJCS[...]

See full list:

Reference: https://support.esri.com/en/technical-article/000011199

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.