I'm working in ArcGIS Pro (v 3.1.3) and I have a raster .jpg dataset that has an unknown spatial reference system. After building pyramids and statistics, the raster will draw in Arc, however is not in the correct location (obvious without coordinate system). However, I have tried multiple ways to assign a correct spatial reference with no luck - it continues to show in the same spot. I have a .shp point file with the right coordinate system that shows in the correct place.

  • I've tried catalog-->properties-->selecting coordinates--> export raster
  • Define projection--> export raster
  • Project raster

I've tried the above with removing and re-adding the layer to "refresh". When available I have both manually searched and selected the coordinate system, or setting the output coordinate system as the .shp file. (Note: I have attempted this with new rasters each time, not overwriting existing ones so as not to corrupt files). I've also worked in both normal file explorer folders and within a geodatabase.
I've closed the program and restarted my computer.

All my searches suggest the same things as above which I have already tried. Am I missing something simple/ obvious?

  • 2
    You need to georeference the dataset, not just set the spatial reference
    – Vince
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 1:43

1 Answer 1


Since the image does not have exact location withing coordinate system, ArcGIS is unable to show it at location of shapefile. You need to add coordinate information to a digital image so that it can be accurately displayed on a map.

You can do this by georeferencing showed in following ArcGIS Pro tutorial.


You can use your shp file or Esri imagery as base map.

Thank you

  • Thank you for the advice, I'll try this out. My question now is, why do other rasters that also don't have coordinate system still show in the correct place when loading it after the shapefile?
    – BiancaK
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 23:19

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