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Difference in position of Raster file when opened in Arcgis and Mapinfo

Posted on 2008-10-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-19
Hi Everyone

I've got a problem which I just can't seem to figure out.
I have some vector data in TAB files which I open in mapinfo with no problem. The files are an outline of UK, UK county borders and some aerial photos taken over brighton. As you can see in the screenshot the position of the aerial photo is perfect in Mapinfo. The projection used is BritishNationalGrid.

When I open the UK and County borders in arcgis they show perfectly as well. When I add the aerial photo it shows up in totally the wrong position and wrong size as in the arcmap.jpg screenshot. The red circle denotes where it is even though you can't see it. If I zoom in enough it is there.

I also downloaded a trial version of Safe's FME product and exactly the same thing happens.

So my question is what do I need to do in order to maintain the position that Mapinfo has so that I can view it correctly in other mapping platforms. The aerial photos I have are in TIF format and each one has it's own TAB file.

Many thanks


Question by:erik_nodland
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Expert Comment

ID: 22710850
Certainly sounds like a projection problem.   Are you opening the TAB in ArcGIS?  Or converting it to a shape file?  Can you attach both files?


Author Comment

ID: 22711594

Many thanks for the quick reply. I have uploaded the files to live spaces at


I couldn't get them attached on here for some reason. In the ZIP file there is a portion of the UK map which covers brighton and also a single aerial photo. I had to wipe the detail on the aerial photo for company reasons but the image has all other data intact.

I have tried converting both to ESRI shape files and I get the exactly the same problem.

This should demonstrate the problems I am getting hopefully.

Thanks again


Accepted Solution

M_Lynn earned 2000 total points
ID: 22718101
I'm not sure this will help, but maybe it will give someone else a starting point.  Your line data is in British OSGRS80 Grid projection.   Your Raster is British National Grid.  You can see this by opening them one at a time, going to Map>Option> projections.  MapInfo is adjusting the two projections on the fly.  You can see this by opening the line data first, then the raster.  Move the raster on top of the line data and you will see the line data shift to adjust to the raster's different projection.  

From a little Googling, it appears as if the problem might be that  Map Info supports British OSGRS80 Grid but ArcMap doesn't.  In ArcCatlog  there is no choice for British OSGRS80 Grid when assigning a projection to either the line data or the raster.  Saving the line data out of MapInfo as Britsh National Grid then using the Universal Translator to convert to a shape file  SHOULD work, but doesn't.  Perhaps MapInfo is not making a proper transformation when it saves.

The only thing I can think of is to find out the differnces between the two projections and modify one or the other manually in Arc Catalog.  

Sorry.  I wish I had a one, two, three answer for you.


Author Comment

ID: 22719434
Hi Lynn

Many thanks for this. It definitely gives me a starting point. I am out of the office today but I will try what you suggested in Mapinfo and report back here.

Thanks again


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