Converting the Relevant Files to Cartesian Coordinates
You are going to be working with distances, and that suggests that you should probably convert our files, which are stored in decimal-degree format, to a coordinate system where you can be surer that distance calculations are done simply and properly. You are displaying in the State Plane system, but for the sake of neat and tidy, you should convert the basic data and remap it.
____ 31. Ask for a new blank map in ArcMap, using the New Map icon. Don’t save the previous map.
In ArcToolbox invoke the Project tool in Data Management Tools > Projections and Transformations > Feature. Make the input Blocks&Pop.shp. Call the output Blocks&Pop_TN_SP.shp, because we plan to put the data in the Tennessee State Plane Coordinate System. For the Output Coordinate System navigate to the
NAD 1983 StatePlane Tennessee FIPS 4100 (Feet)
coordinate system. Make sure that you are placing the output in
(In version 10.0 you may have to select a Transformation from the drop-down window: WGS 84 to NAD 83.) Click Add. OK the Project window. After the tool executes (look at the lower right of the window to see the action taking place—it may take some time), the new layer is automatically added to the map.
____ 33. Use this same procedure and projection to Project the Roads shapefile to Roads_TN_SP.shp and notice that this layer is added to the map. Hide ArcToolbox.