I have a shapefile map of Belgium divided by cantons that I want to re-project in order to have units in meters and to be able to calculate distances. I know how to do it with ArcGIS Projection tool, but the result always gets wrong map location.
I will detail my steps. First of all, my original map had unknown projection and coordinate system. However, it is pretty clear that it is in GCS_WGS_1984, with decimal degrees, since the Left/Top/Right/Bottom limits are precisely equal to the real ones of Belgium, when a map of this country is projected that way. So far, so good. I defined the GCS_WGS_1984 projection with DD units in ArcGIS, using the Define Projection tool.
The problem is in the next step. I then want to convert from that to another projection. One from which I can have units in meters. I tried a bunch of UTM options, using the Project tool after finding out that Belgium is around UTM 31N. However, no matter which UTM projection I choose, the location of the country after re-projected becomes wrong.
For instance, re-projecting from thw GCS_WGS_1984 to WGS_1984_UTM_Zone_31N gives me the following extent limits: Left:468861,233828 m; Top:5707355,258593 m; Right:742547,667605 m; Bottom:5485665,513781 m. That’s very off the target.
Could anyone point me what am I doing wrong or what is missing?
PS: Another detail is the following. I tried opening the original map among other country maps with the GCS_WGS_1984 projection in decimal degrees. All countries are positioned correctly. Then, I do the same operation described above to convert some countries besides Belgium to check what happens. All of them get located wrong – what means, my problem doest not seem to be in my Belgium files, but rather in me doing something wrong.