Geodatabase feature classes are not aligning properly after importing or exporting with ArcCatalog or ArcToolbox

Last Published: April 25, 2020


When importing or exporting data to the geodatabase format, the ability to change the output projection is possible. If the output projection requires a datum transformation, the new feature class may not align correctly with the original data.


The import and export tools in ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox do not perform datum transformations.

Solution or Workaround

The following are options to project data using a data transformation to ensure proper alignment in ArcGIS.

  • ArcGIS 8.3
    Use the Project Wizard in ArcToolbox to properly project the data using a datum transformation.

    1. Start ArcToolbox.
    2. Expand Data Management Tools.
    3. Double-click Project Wizard.

  • ArcGIS 8.3 and ArcGIS 9.0
    Project the data on-the-fly in ArcMap using the appropriate datum transformation and export to geodatabase.

    1. Add the layer to ArcMap.
    2. Select View > Data Frame Properties.
    3. Select the Coordinate System tab.
    4. Click the Transformations button.
    5. Select appropriate the transformation.
    6. Click OK to close the Data Frame Properties dialog box.
    7. Right-click the layer in the TOC and select Data > Export Data
    8. Select 'Use the same Coordinate System as the data frame'.
    9. Select a location for the output feature class.
    10. Click OK.

Article ID:000005301

  • ArcMap 8 x
  • ArcMap 9 x

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