Importing a csv file with lat/long won't display the locations correctly

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03-16-2017 10:09 PM
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Occasional Contributor II

My students created an excel spreadsheet, then converted it to a csv file.  They imported the file, but Lake Shasta, etc. are in the far east.  

I looked for help on google which suggested that I "Right click the table and select display XY data.
The X field should equal longitude.
The Y field should equal latitude."  Nope...didn't work.

Below is a copy of the table in Arcgis Online:

What is wrong with this?  I appreciate hearing from one of you.

Thank you,   Della

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Esri Frequent Contributor

Della - Western Hemisphere is - negative for longitude.

I've had this happen so many times with students of all ages - you can turn it into a nice teachable moment!

--Joseph 

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Honored Contributor

The issue is the omission of minus sign "-" from the longitude values.

For Latitude: North is + whereas South is -

For Longitude: East is + whereas West is -.

So, for Shasha lake, the longitude should be -122.353611. Change the sign (You can multiply all the values in the column with -1) for all the longitude values if they all lie West of the Prime Meridian.

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Esri Frequent Contributor

Della - Western Hemisphere is - negative for longitude.

I've had this happen so many times with students of all ages - you can turn it into a nice teachable moment!

--Joseph 

View solution in original post

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Esri Frequent Contributor

Here is another interesting thing:  If you are in ArcGIS Online - if you search for example on 40, -120 it will place you on the Nevada-California border at 40 North 120 West, as it should - but it displays Y=-120, X=40.  If you search on -120, 40, it works the same way and the position is accurate.  Google maps only works one way - as "latitude, longitude" or Y, X - so in Google Maps -- -     40, -120 works but -120, 40 does NOT work.

--Joseph Kerski