Longitude and Latitude not displaying correctly

07-30-2013 06:00 AM
New Contributor
Hello - I am new to ArcMap and am very confused as to why this is happening.

I have imported an Excel file with around 3,500 coordinates. The file imports correctly, I can see the data and everything. However, when I choose to display the data, it does not give me the option to change the y-field to latitude. So basically both x and y are displaying longitude.

When this happens, the data all appears off the coast of Africa (I'm working in Long Island... not even close!) and no matter what I do (adding negative signs, switching the columns, etc) the data appears in this region. All of the numbers in my file are saved as numbers (they are decimal degrees), the headings are Longitude, Latitude and Description... I can't figure out why this will not display correctly! Anyone have any ideas?


(I attached the .xls file that is displaying incorrectly).

**EDIT** Upon closer inspection, all the data is appearing directly at the 0,0 point of the world map. I am using the World Mercator (Auxilary Sphere) coordinate system for my data.

**EDIT2** I am able to now choose longitude for x and latitude for y, but the data points are still occuring at the origin...
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Frequent Contributor
Aren't your field headers in the table transposed?

EDIT:  Ah, I think I see your problem - you have some 'extra' formatting after the neg sign in your field for longitude (your header is incorrectly listed 'Latitude').  Remove that and you should be fine.
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Frequent Contributor
Curious little problem, projections are fascinating and this exercise was useful to me in prepping tables to layers for web use, although I could also use a gp task to do the job -- I reviewed your problem again and I too, after cleaning your longitude values, got points popping up off the coast of Africa!

So I simply added the data in the same way you did, but defined the projection as WGS84 (in the GCS folder), then projected to the aux sphere coord system using the Project tool and it seems to be okay, you'd better check it -- see the attached.  I included the xlsx I used in converting your values (think the vals were 13 in len when they should have been 12, as converted from your csv).  In Excel, 2 functions to make sure it ends up numeric, ready for direct input into ArcMap:

=VALUE(CLEAN(<the cell to 'clean' here>))

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