Putting coordinates from GPS unit  on a map manually, 'Add X Y Data' Question

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12-09-2011 04:48 PM
ChrisHolcomb
New Contributor
Someone gave me an Excel spreadsheet  with GPS coordinates on it of certain points in a field.  the 'northing' points are in one column and the 'easting' points are in another.

I figure that there has to be a way to insert these points on an ArcMap 10 map and give them symbology.  I was thinking that this way is the 'Add X Y data' tool under Data Management tool group.  (am I right?)

If I am right, I have questions on the format and precedure for entering the data.  this tool asks for an input. What does it want? A text document? The 2 excel columns?

thanks for any help!!
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5 Replies
DanEvans
Occasional Contributor II
Hi Chris,

Do you mean this http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//001700000032000000 tool? 'Add X Y Coordinates'?

or http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//00170000006z000000 ' Make X Y Event Layer'?

The first one adds x and y coordinates to an already existing points feature class (not what you want).

The second one will create a temporary points layer based on a table, which may be what you want, although if you're starting from an Excel spreadsheet you might have to convert it to a .dbf or geodatabase table first, or at least check that the field headings are 'safe' for ArcGIS.

Usually if I'm plotting points based on XY data in a spreadsheet I'll use the 'Create Feature Class' -> 'From XY Table' right-click option in ArcCatalog, as this creates a permanent feature class rather than a temporary event layer. (I'm using 9.3 though, it might have changed in 10).

Hope that helps

Dan
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MelitaKennedy
Esri Notable Contributor
Easting and Northing implies that the coordinates are in a projected coordinate system. You'll need to figure out what that is, in order to overlay this data with other datasets. If the data's in the US, it could be in UTM or State Plane (using which GCS/datum and unit?) or even a statewide definition.

Melita
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ChrisHolcomb
New Contributor
Dan thank you very much for your help- I'll try and apply this to what I am doing soon
Hi Chris,

Do you mean this http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//001700000032000000 tool? 'Add X Y Coordinates'?

or http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//00170000006z000000 ' Make X Y Event Layer'?

The first one adds x and y coordinates to an already existing points feature class (not what you want).

The second one will create a temporary points layer based on a table, which may be what you want, although if you're starting from an Excel spreadsheet you might have to convert it to a .dbf or geodatabase table first, or at least check that the field headings are 'safe' for ArcGIS.

Usually if I'm plotting points based on XY data in a spreadsheet I'll use the 'Create Feature Class' -> 'From XY Table' right-click option in ArcCatalog, as this creates a permanent feature class rather than a temporary event layer. (I'm using 9.3 though, it might have changed in 10).

Hope that helps

Dan
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samanthazimbelman
New Contributor
so, if I can't export my data from my gps app (which is odd because i had no problem the first time), then can I follow the same procedure ....apply them to Arc Map manually?
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JennWhite
New Contributor
Someone gave me an Excel spreadsheet  with GPS coordinates on it of certain points in a field.  the 'northing' points are in one column and the 'easting' points are in another.

I figure that there has to be a way to insert these points on an ArcMap 10 map and give them symbology.  I was thinking that this way is the 'Add X Y data' tool under Data Management tool group.  (am I right?)

If I am right, I have questions on the format and precedure for entering the data.  this tool asks for an input. What does it want? A text document? The 2 excel columns?

thanks for any help!!


A text file or the speadsheet will work. I prefer using ArcCatalogue to "Create new feature class from XY data".  Add XY Data from the File menu is also another simple option. Good luck!
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