6.3.1. Setting a coordinate system and saving a new map document (*.mxd)

Setting the correct map units is important for all types of quantitative analysis and for appropriate cartography. Despite on-the-fly projection capabilities, if layers are in different coordinate systems, this will pose major problems in the display and analysis of data.

To set the coordinate system of the map document:

  1. Go to View.
  2. Select Data Frame Properties.
  3. Open the Coordinate System tab.
  4. For the remainder of this paper, we will use data from Switzerland, therefore we will use the projected coordinate system called CH1903 LV03. Double-click Projected Coordinate Systems.
  5. Double-click National Grids.
  6. Double-click Europe.
  7. Select the CH1903 LV03 option.
  8. Click OK.


  1. Using the search bar, directly type in the following: CH1903 LV03.
  2. Click the Search button.
  3. Double-click on Projected coordinates folder > select the CH1903 LV03 option from the list
  4. Click OK.
  5. To save these properties in the map document (*.mxd), go to File.
  6. Click Save As.
  7. Name the file and click OK.