I am unable to reproject Marseille shapefiles from Clarke 1880 RGS_Lambert_Conformal_Conic to ETRS_1989_LAEA.

I know that Clarke is a geographic coordinate system and it has no datum. I have tried varying different things (project to ED50 utm zone 31N, ED79, WGS84) but it seems that ArcGIS does not do anything ... the data always remains in the same place.

The funny thing is that I have one shapefile in GCS_Clarke_1880_IGN that projected well to ETRS89 on the fly.

  • Can you share part of the data with points or lines recognizable in other maps?
    – AndreJ
    Jan 15, 2014 at 9:55
  • Well.. I am just displaying that data.. but I can see how the data is displayed wrongly... as the reference data Marseille city appears far far away...
    – POLOLO
    Jan 15, 2014 at 10:02
  • That can be due to false Easting or false Northing, or some other parameters missing or wrong in the .prj file.
    – AndreJ
    Jan 15, 2014 at 10:05
  • Yes I think so.. But how can I change it manually?
    – POLOLO
    Jan 15, 2014 at 10:16
  • I don't work with ARCGIS, but this should help: resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//…
    – AndreJ
    Jan 15, 2014 at 10:20

2 Answers 2


Note: I'm moving information that the original poster included in a comment to this answer.

After tons of attempts, I solved it. Basically, my data is wrongly projected initially. The Clarke 1880 RGS_Lambert_Conformal_Conic projection is wrong. I put a map in the background and the data was drawn in Norway. understoood that the problem was this initial projection. How can people link wrong projections to data??? I found NTF_Lambert_Zone_III to be the right one.


I had a similar problem in the past, because the datum of the clarke was in fact based on the meridian of Paris and used grade (square angle = 100) instead of degrees. This could explain your large shift. Is your "far far away" difference en X close to the distance between Greenwich and Paris ?

You could then try with this datum : GCS_NTF_Paris , making sure to set a transform in your data frame properties > coordinate system.

Clarke_IGN is in degrees and based on greenwich, so there is not a big difference with ETRS 89 (yet there is a "small" one, be carefull)

  • I tried with GCS_NTF PAris but the data is not moved. I deleted the prj file first to avoid errots but nothing happens. Lil bit desperated now. :(
    – POLOLO
    Jan 15, 2014 at 13:45
  • you must not delete your prj, otherwise the transform will not work. try posting your data (or at least the prj) so the community can have a try. At least, edit your question with the copy-pasted prj.
    – radouxju
    Jan 15, 2014 at 13:50
  • ok.. This is the projection that im looking for: Projected Coordinate System: ETRS_1989_LAEA Projection: Lambert_Azimuthal_Equal_Area False_Easting: 4321000.00000000 False_Northing: 3210000.00000000 Central_Meridian: 10.00000000 Latitude_Of_Origin: 52.00000000 Linear Unit: Meter Geographic Coordinate System: GCS_ETRS_1989 Datum: D_ETRS_1989 Prime Meridian: Greenwich Angular Unit: Degree
    – POLOLO
    Jan 15, 2014 at 14:06
  • this is the one my origina data has: Projected Coordinate System: Clarke_1880_RGS_Lambert_Conformal_Conic Projection: Lambert_Conformal_Conic False_Easting: 600000.00000000 False_Northing: 200000.00000000 Central_Meridian: 2.33722917 Standard_Parallel_1: 43.19929139 Standard_Parallel_2: 44.99609389 Latitude_Of_Origin: 44.10000000 Linear Unit: Meter Geographic Coordinate System: GCS_Clarke_1880_RGS Datum: D_Clarke_1880_RGS Prime Meridian: Greenwich Angular Unit: Degree
    – POLOLO
    Jan 15, 2014 at 14:07
  • 2
    You should post this information as the answer!
    – mkennedy
    Jan 15, 2014 at 17:49

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