I am using ArcGIS 10 and trying to work in British National Grid.

My shapefile is in WGS84 UTM30N.

I passed the shapefile across to a colleague and we both transformed into BNG.

When we compared the data there was a significant difference in our results.

I have since cross-checked with QGIS, Global mapper and a website or two and got a whole range of results but in general the most common is the result my colleague got.

  1. What have I done wrong?
  2. Why is there such a variation (~150m) in values? (1 or 2m error is probably ok for what I am looking at.)
  3. Which value is "right"?

1 Answer 1


I suspect that you and your colleague have chosen different datum transformations when converting from UTM to BNG.

This results in a datum shift (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordnance_Survey_National_Grid#Datum_shift_between_OSGB_36_and_WGS_84 ) - 150m would be expected.

I'm not sure of the best way to determine which shapefile is now "right" - I suspect that they are both still right, but different.

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