Excel table to ArcGIS functionality

12-12-2014 03:32 PM
New Contributor

We are trying to help the county health department make a map of radon exposure at houses throughout the county. We are using ArcMap 10.1 with all extensions.

They sent us an excel spread sheet with 3 relevant fields: (1) lat & (2) long in decimal degrees and (3) exposure concentrations. We want to convert the data in the table to points, then symbolize by the concentration. So far we have been able to get points in ArcMap by using the 'Display x y data' button but when we bring in the county map, the dots are far away from the county. Also, this resulting set of points has no attribute table to symbolize from.

Is there a straightforward way to take data from an excel table and give it functionality in ArcMap?

Thanks for reading.

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Frequent Contributor


What projection do you have set on your county map? Is is in state plane?

If so your coordinates are in decimal degrees and the linear units for the state plane are US Survey Feet.  What you will need to do is open up a blank MXD and set the data frame projection to geographic, world, WGS 84.  Then display your xy data here and export the XY event layer to a shapefile.  Once you have done this you can then use the Project tool to project the shapefile you just made to the correct projection.  This should properly project your coordinates.

The the problem with not having any attributes in the table maybe an illegal character in one of your field headings. Make sure your headings don't have special characters or spaces. The one that often catches you out is - as this does not throw an error you just get an empty table.