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Error: One or more of the added layers has an extent not consistent with spatial reference

Error Message

This message appears when adding a dataset to ArcMap:

"One or more of the added layers has an extent that is not consistent with the associated spatial reference information.

Reprojecting the data in such a layer may lead to unexpected behavior. Use ArcCatalog to confirm the spatial reference is correct and adjust if necessary."

Cause

When you add data to ArcMap, the software checks if the geographic coordinate system of the data falls within the range of -180 to 180 (longitude) and -90 to 90 (latitude). Any data that exceeds these values is considered to be erroneous.

The check assumes that data might be stored in a geographic coordinate system using decimal degrees. In cases where data uses other geographic units (decimal seconds or grads), the values might be within the above range yet the message will still occur.

Solution or Workaround

The operation that yields this warning has been modified in ArcGIS Version 8.1.2.

To determine if this problem applies to the coordinate range and angular units of your data, do the following:

  1. Start ArcCatalog and navigate to the dataset that returns the message.
  2. Click the Metadata tab on the right-hand window.
  3. Click the Spatial tab.

    The 'Bounding Coordinates' section lists the extents of the data in decimal degrees. If these extents exceed the range of -180 to 180 (longitude), or -90 to 90 (latitude), the extent not consistent with spatial reference message will erroneously appear when adding this data.
  4. If possible, correct the defined coordinate system for your data (you may need to refer to current metadata for more information).

    For help on defining coordinate systems for your data, search under "coordinate systems" in the index section of the ArcGIS online help.