# What type of coordinates are these and how do I project them?

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06-25-2015 05:46 AM
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New Contributor III

I have been given coordinate for a GPS point and need to plot the point on our GIS system.

This is the coordinates:

39 13.532 -79 40.027

I know about the Degrees Minutes Seconds format and decimal format, but I don't know what this format is or how to import it into the system.

I can put this into Bing Maps and it comes close to the location of where the point should be, but it off by a few hundred feet. So I'm assuming it's due to differing coordinate/datum systems. I will need to get with them to verify their settings, but will need to project to our data which is NAD_1983_StatePlane_West_Virginia_North_FIPS_4701_Feet.

The main question I guess is what to do with these coordinates - I don't know how to work with this format and what's the best way to get them into the ArcMap software?

Thanks!

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
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Frequent Contributor

Hi Andrew,

It looks like your coordinates are in Degrees Decimal Minutes.  You will likely need to convert them to decimal degrees(not too terribly hard, do a google search for how to convert).  Then you should be able to import the lat/long into arcgis.

4 Replies
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Frequent Contributor

Hi Andrew,

It looks like your coordinates are in Degrees Decimal Minutes.  You will likely need to convert them to decimal degrees(not too terribly hard, do a google search for how to convert).  Then you should be able to import the lat/long into arcgis.

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New Contributor III

Yep, I figured it out. After staring at it for a while, the degrees were obvious and it finally hit me - OH! It's giving minutes and seconds by having a fractional minute! Did the conversion and found a video showing how to import the coordinate via an Excel spreadsheet. This then allowed displaying it based on the source datum - which I assume is WGS84. It's still not where the item is supposed to be, but I'm beginning to suspect GPS Unit/User error on the collecting side. Deep wooded area with leaves on the trees - we're lucky to get a reading at all in those conditions.

Anyway, thanks!

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

In the future Andrew, tell whomever gave you the coordinates to switch the display to decimal degrees...saves everyone a whole lot of grief and usually takes two thumb selections on most gps units

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New Contributor III

This was a one time walk in customer - so not really possible to take this approach, and on the rare occasion that I have this happen, I would probably have to setup their GPS unit for them before they collected their data - which inherently won't happen as they don't come to me until they have their data in the first place.