I have downloaded Utah state shapefile in NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_12N projection and also downloaded the MODIS image of the area (MOD09Q1) in .hdf format which has sinusoidal projection.

the .hdf format was converted to .img using ERDAS imagine 2011.

Upon adding these two layers in ArcGIS 9.3, the boundary shapefile does not fall on the image rather lies far away. I have also tried projecting the image to NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_12N...its still not working.

Any suggestion on what to do?

  • show us both files properties. In ArcMap, right click over each file, Properties - > Source (for the shapefile) and Properties - > Source -> scroll down until you can see both extent and coordinate system .
    – Gago-Silva
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 7:01
  • @A. R Utah shape file properties: Data Type: Shapefile Feature Class Shapefile: G:\THESIS\soil moisture\MODIS\Utah_shp\Utah\Utah.shp Geometry Type: Polygon Projected Coordinate System: NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_12N Projection: Transverse_Mercator False_Easting: 500000.00000000 False_Northing: 0.00000000 Central_Meridian: -111.00000000 Scale_Factor: 0.99960000 Latitude_Of_Origin: 0.00000000 Linear Unit: Meter Geographic Coordinate System: GCS_North_American_1983 Datum: D_North_American_1983 Prime Meridian: Greenwich Angular Unit: Degree
    – sowparnika
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 7:24
  • 1
    Check out code.env.duke.edu/projects/mget/wiki/SinusoidalMODIS the instructions are mainly to get data into the MODIS coordinate system, but you may be able to reverse the workflow.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 17:19

3 Answers 3


If you have access to ENVI, there is a a "MODIS conversion toolkit" available for free from their user scripts website.

It will reproject any way you would like as well as destripe and calculate radiance

have fun


Perhaps try working with MODIS hdf files entirely in ArcGIS using Extract Subdataset, Project Raster, and then either Clip the raster or Extract by Mask to subset to your Utah boundary.

  • thnks..the Extract Subdataset tool is not being run, unexpected error is shown. Also when .hdf file is added into ArcGIS 9.3 the extension becomes .hdf:0. Is this the reason for error?
    – sowparnika
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 2:10
  • My ArcGIS 10.1 is working fine, so I am unable to reproduce the error you are experiencing in 9.3, but others have also experienced and documented here (with a link to a helpful tool): Converting HDFs to ArcGIS Rasters. This may also be helpful to you: Batch Processing 400 MODIS HDF4 Files Using Several Tools In ArcGIS 10
    – ccn
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 4:45
  • One other thing: do you have all MODIS tiles that cover Utah? The MODIS tiles shapefile from here show three tiles: h08v05, h09v04, h09v05.
    – ccn
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 4:50
  • no, i don't have all the three tiles only h09v05. thnks for the links.
    – sowparnika
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 17:52

Using MODIS REPROJECTION TOOL WEB INTERFACE (MRTWEB) i was able to convert the .hdf files to .tiff format and reproject to geographic coordinate system. The boundary shapefile was also given geographic coordinate system and the boundary fell correctly over the image in ArcGIS9.3

Your Answer

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

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