FAQ: What geographic coordinate system or datum should be used for my data?

Question

What geographic coordinate system or datum should be used for my data?

Answer

To determine which geographic coordinate system (GCS) and datum to use for data, select one of the 'Geographic Coordinate Systems by Area of Use' links in the Related Links section below.

The related documents below list geographic coordinate systems supported in ArcGIS by version. Within the documents, GCS names are listed in alphabetical order by continent, country or region. The lists also include the geographic area of the world for which each GCS and datum is used.

The Geographic Coordinate System and datum for data provided by another source should be obtained from the metadata. Fundamental concepts are key to understanding map projections. Projection Basics: What the GIS professional needs to know

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