Example: Assign Initial Coordinate System

We use the Contents pane to manually assign an initial coordinate system when importing from a format that does not specify the coordinate system.


Consider a project where we have created a new data source using the OpenStreet Maps imageserver as a background layer.




We also create a map , we open the map, and then we drag and drop the OSM layer into the map.


We also import a shapefile that shows buildings in Monaco.  However, the shapefiles we used do not include a ,prj file that specifies the coordinate system to use.   




When we drag and drop the buildings drawing into the map it does not appear in Monaco.    The Contents pane immediately shows us what is wrong so we can fix it.



With the map open and the focus on the OSM streets layer tab the Contents pane shows the above information.  It tells us that the OSM layer is in Pseudo-Mercator and, because that coordinate system is reported in black text we know that the coordinate system has been automatically provided by the OSM data source.   


Likewise, the coordinate system the Map uses is also in  black text because the coordinate system for the map was defined by the first layer, the OSM layer, we dragged and dropped into the map and that first layer has a verified, trustworthy coordinate system specified.



If in the map we now click on the buildings layer tab to make it the active layer the Contents pane instantly shows readouts for that layer.   It shows Pseudo Mercator as the coordinate system because that is the default which is assigned to any component created from a source that does not specify a coordinate system.  It is just a placeholder, and indicated as such by the red text used to display it.  The red text tells us the coordinate system is probably wrong and must be correctly specified by manually assigning the initial coordinate system.


btn_coord_sys_picker.png  To do that we click on the coordinate system picker button.   




Because the buildings component was brought into the project without a coordinate system being specified, Manifold only allows one action, assigning the initial coordinate system.  Choosing Assign Initial Coordinate System unfolds a menu that allows one of three choices:





In this example we know that the buildings drawing uses Latitude / Longitude, which is conveniently one of the favorites, so that is the coordinate system we choose to assign as the initial coordinate system for the buildings drawing.



As soon as we do that, two things happen.  


First, the read out for the buildings layer coordinate system in the Contents pane immediately switches to Latitude / Longitude in black text.   The use of black text indicate the coordinate system has been assigned and is no longer just a placeholder that may or may not be accurate.




Second, the buildings layer immediately snaps into correct position in the map, showing that the buildings illustrated are indeed in Monaco.




If we click on the coordinate picker button again we can see the available options have changed, now that the coordinate system has been assigned.    We now have the two options that are allowed for a drawing that has had an initial coordinate system assigned:





How do we know the buildings drawing used Latitude / Longitude? - The web site from which we obtained the drawing said so.


See Also





Assign Initial Coordinate System


Repair Initial Coordinate System


Change Coordinate System


Map Projection


Coordinate System


Base Coordinate System


Favorite Coordinate Systems


Favorite Base Coordinate Systems


Example: Change Projection of an Image - Use the Change Coordinate System command to change the projection of an image, raster data showing terrain elevations in a region of Florida, from Latitude / Longitude to Orthographic centered on Florida.


Example: Adding a Favorite Coordinate System - Step by step example showing how to add a frequently used coordinate system to the Favorites system.


Example: Detecting and Correcting a Wrong Projection - A lengthy example exploring projection dialogs and a classic projection problem.  We save a drawing into projected shapefiles and then show on import how a projection can be quickly and easily checked and corrected if it is wrong.


Re-Projection Creates a New Image - Why changing the projection of an image creates a new image.


About Coordinate Systems


Projections Tutorial