I have a shapefile with the several roads. I am using the Euclidean distance tool in ArcGIS to create different distance bands from the roads. However, despite being careful to ensure that all the layers are in a projected co-ordinate system (UTM in this case), the tool refuses to calculate the distances in meters.

The image below shows a screenshot of the settings used for the euclidean distance tool (the cell size is being left out, and hence getting calculated automatically): enter image description here

The following screenshot shows the output, using a discrete symbology: enter image description here

As you can see the distances seem to be calculated in decimal-degrees and not in meters. The roads layer cover a significantly large areas, thus a value of 0.007 is too small.

I have used the distance measure tool too: enter image description here

Where am I going wrong? How can I ensure that the distances being calculated by the Euclidean distance tool are in meters (i.e. the map units)?

1 Answer 1


I bet that is the map of Gorawan in India - I can see the latitude and longitude at the bottom bar of the ArcGIS window.

Inherently your layers are in WGS84 geographical coordinates. UTM is just a wrong declaration you have made to the software. This happens when you (or someone else who have manipulated the layers) try to project the layers to UTM by using Assign Projection instead of Project Feature. This is wrong because by assigning a projection using "Assign Projection" you tell the software that this layer is in UTM, which is not true.

To fix your problem go through these steps: 1. Assign a projection to your layer using "Assign Projection" by choosing WGS84. 2. Project your layer using "Project Feature by choosing WGS84 as a source coordinate system and UTM as target.

Then do the measurement on the projected feature.

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