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Georeferencing a raster entering x,y coordinates

You can georeference a raster to specific x,y or degrees/minutes/seconds (DMS) coordinates. When georeferencing to specific target coordinates, you still need to choose the appropriate well-defined objects in your images, such as road intersections or graticules. For example, you may have a scanned map or aerial photos that have coordinates already shown on your image, such as latitude and longitude coordinates.

To perform this workflow, you must know of ground control points on the source image and the coinciding latitude and longitude coordinates.

Saving the ArcGIS Pro project does not save the current state of a georeferencing session. Export your control points before you close the project.

  1. In ArcGIS Pro, add the source raster that you want to georeference.
  2. In the Contents pane, click the source raster layer you want to georeference.
  3. Right-click the source raster and click Zoom to Layer.
  4. To display the Georeference tab, click the Imagery tab and click Georeference.

    The tools on the Georeference tab are split into several groups to help you use the correct tool in the proper phase of your georeferencing session.

  5. In the Prepare group, click Set SRS Set spatial reference system.

    If your raster dataset already has a spatial reference, it will be automatically used as the coordinate system for the map and the georeferencing session. If your raster dataset does not have a spatial reference, the Map Properties dialog box will appear, and you can choose the coordinate system to set for the georeferencing session; the default spatial reference is the current coordinate system of the map.

  6. In the Adjust group, turn off the Auto Apply tool Auto Apply.

    Auto Apply was turned off so that the image does not move each time you create your control points.

  7. In the Adjust group, click the Add Control Points tool Add Control Points to create control points.

    To add a control point, first click a location on the raster you are georeferencing (the source layer), and then click the same location on the target layer in the map (the reference data).

    1. Click a known location within the raster you are georeferencing (the source layer).
    2. Right-click to bring up the Target Coordinates dialog box.
    3. Enter the corresponding x- and y-coordinates for this location.
    4. Click OK.
  8. Repeat the previous step with all the known coordinate points that you have.
  9. Use the Transforms drop-down menu Transformation to choose the transformation you want to use.

    Zero-order polynomial

    Minimum of one control point required

    First-order polynomial

    Minimum of three control points required


    Minimum of three control points required

    Projective transformation

    Minimum of four control points required

    Second-order polynomial

    Minimum of six control points required

    Third-order polynomial

    Minimum of ten control points required

    Spline transformation

    Minimum of ten control points required

  10. In the Review group, click the Control Point Table button Open Control Point Table to evaluate the residual error for each control point.

    Press the L key to toggle the transparency of your source raster on and off.

  11. Delete any unwanted control points using the Control Point Table.
  12. If you're satisfied with the current alignment, stop entering control points.
  13. In the Save group, choose how you want to persist your georeferencing information.

    Save Save

    Saves the georeferencing information with the raster and its auxiliary files

    Save as New Save as new

    Creates a new raster file with the georeferencing information

    Export Control Points Export Control Points

    Saves the control points within a text file

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