Bug: Switching the spatial reference of a low-precision feature dataset may result in a mixed-precision feature dataset


A particular workflow exists that causes a feature dataset to become a mixed-precision dataset. If certain steps are applied to a low-precision feature dataset in a 9.2 or greater geodatabase, it may result in the dataset being incorrectly marked as high precision, without the ability to revert to the original low-precision coordinate system.


The following workflow can cause this behavior:

1) In ArcCatalog, right-click a low-precision feature dataset and choose Properties.
2) Choose the XY Coordinate System tab.
3) Change the spatial reference to a different spatial reference.
4) Click Apply.

• The feature dataset and underlying feature classes report as high precision until the client application is restarted.
• After client is restarted, feature classes point correctly to low precision, but the feature dataset is still be flagged as high precision.

In a case with a 9.2 or greater geodatabase, the reverse pattern cannot be applied as only high-precision spatial references can be created.


If the specific issue mentioned above is encountered, contact Esri Support Services to troubleshoot the issue and find a possible solution.

To avoid this specific issue, review the following knowledge base article on the recommended workflow for setting the spatial reference of a feature dataset and feature class: KB44773: "Should the spatial reference of a feature dataset or feature class be modified via the properties page?"

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