Error: The coordinate system is invalid

Error Message

An error message, "The coordinate system is invalid," is returned when accessing an ArcSDE version 9.3.1 feature class from a later ArcGIS version.


Before ArcGIS 10, a projected coordinate system definition was not checked to ensure all expected parameters were included. For each map projection, ArcGIS expects certain parameters.

For instance, a projected coordinate system based on transverse Mercator should include:


Capitalization and underscores/spaces are ignored.

In versions prior to ArcGIS 10, if any parameters were missing or had an unexpected name like 'longitude of center', the values were assumed to be 0.0 (1.0 for Scale_Factor). In ArcGIS 10, Esri began requiring certain parameters for each map projection. For transverse Mercator, there must be a Central_Meridian parameter.

For the list of parameters expected for each map projection, you can use the online ArcGIS desktop help.

List of supported map projections

Below are parameters that are not considered equivalent:
Central_Meridian | Longitude_Of_Center | Longitude_Of_Origin

Latitude_Of_Origin | Latitude_Of_Center | Central_Parallel

False_Easting | Easting_At_False_Origin

False_Northing | Northing_At_False_Origin

Solution or Workaround

The feature class must have the coordinate system redefined using the ArcGIS style.