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ArcMap map scale in menu bar grayed out, not active

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#1
cc harper

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My map scale (in the menu bar) cannot be activated and does not show anything but gray where scale numbers usually appear. Therefore, I can neither deduce nor regulate the scale of my map. Scrolling with the mouse over the map shows changing scale in a hovering yellow box that disappears once scrolling stops.

This happens only with one of my maps and not others (but they are comprised of different data). I'm using ArcGIS 9.1. Thank you for your help.

#2
peanut

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This will happen if you don't have a coordinate system defined for your data frame.

If you know the coordinate system of the data you have in the project you can select it from the coordinate system tab under data frame properties.

ArcMap sets the coordinate system of the data frame based upon the first dataset you load into the data frame. If you load in data with no coordinate system defined the coordinate system never gets set and ArcMap can't do scale.

Rich

#3
cc harper

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Thank you, Rich. I don't know the coordinate system. Is there a way within the data to find it? I followed a help sequence in ESRI tech support but still came up short.

Cindy

#4
peanut

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Thank you, Rich. I don't know the coordinate system. Is there a way within the data to find it? I followed a help sequence in ESRI tech support but still came up short.

Cindy


You might try checking the coordinate system of the dataframe in your other ArcMap project (the one where the scale work.) The coordinate systems might be the same and you might be able to use this coordinate system in the project you are having trouble with.

Rich

#5
DaveB

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Thank you, Rich. I don't know the coordinate system. Is there a way within the data to find it? I followed a help sequence in ESRI tech support but still came up short.

Cindy


Of course the best way is to find out what the actual coordinate system is from the source of the data.

Failing that, the coordinate system can be guessed at based on things like the location, units, extent, etc., which you should be able to find in the metadata through ArcCatalog. See how those values match up with other data with the same or similar locations and known coordinate systems.

Then you can try out various CS to see which works best by putting the data with unknown (and undefined) CS into an new empty map in ArcMap, then add some known data for the same area (preferably something that will allow you to see when the data lines up), then try setting a CS on the data frame. ArcMap will project the known data on the fly, but leave the unknown data alone. When the 2 datasets line up properly you can then define the CS for the unknown layer to match the CS of the data frame.

If you're still having trouble you might try posting on the ESRI user forum (at ESRI USer Forum in the ArcGIS Desktop - Projections, Projection Engine section. I know lots of people get help with similar issues there, both from other users and from some ESRI personnel (even though the forum is primarily use-to-user).
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek




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