I somehow georeferenced an image about 120 miles east of where I should have georeferenced it. This should be a simple fix, except that I then proceeded to digitize that extremely detailed image (read: time consuming) into two shapefiles and also gridded that data all based on the incorrect location.

A friend recommended to just re-georeference the original image and use the Spatial Adjustment tool to simply move the shapefiles and grid over to the right location.

The problem is: I've never used the Spatial Adjustment tool and I'm having trouble figuring out how to do this properly. There are three options: edge snap, rubbersheet and transform.

Can anyone help or suggest an easier way to achieve this without having to re-digitize everything?

1 Answer 1


If your data doesn't have to be too accurate, you could try moving the shapefile features by dragging it to its proper location.

  1. Click the Edit tool . enter image description here
  2. Click the feature or features you want to move. Hold down the Shift key while clicking features to select additional features.
  3. Click and drag the feature or features to the desired location.

As for the Spatial Adjustment Tool, I think it's the Transformation Tool you want. According to the docs:

Transformations move or shift data within a coordinate system. They are often used to convert data from unknown digitizer or scanner units to real-world coordinates. Transformations can also be used to convert units within a coordinate system, such as converting feet to meters. To convert data between coordinate systems, such as geographic to UTM, you should project the data instead.

Under the Transformation Tools, I think you need the Affine transformation

enter image description here

More specifically, the translation option as the feature are just shifted to the east of their proper positions.

Here is the workflow from the ArcGIS docs

While each of the spatial adjustment functions is used for a different purpose, the steps for setting up and performing an adjustment are essentially the same:

  1. Start ArcMap.
  2. Create a new map or open an existing one.
  3. Add the data you want to edit to your map.
  4. Add the Editor toolbar to ArcMap.
  5. Add the Spatial Adjustment toolbar to ArcMap.
  6. Start your edit session.
  7. Choose the input data for the adjustment.
  8. Choose a spatial adjustment method.
  9. Create displacement links.
  10. Perform the adjustment.
  11. Stop your edit session and save your edits.

There is no need to save the map—all edits made to the database will automatically be reflected the next time you open the map.

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