Hello,

I am a total beginner to ArcGIS, I am just using it for a school project.

Question: I loaded a list of longitudes/ latitudes (in decimal degrees) of several subjects in an excel file. I created another excel with just one particular longitude/latitude (in decimal degrees). I added both data excel files into arcgis. I displayed xy coordinates and used the Geographic coordinate system. All the points from both data sets appear on the map.

Goal: I want to find the distance( meters) from all the points in the first excel file in relation to the one data point in the 2nd excel file I added. So, I used the proximity tool, then point distance. I set the first excel data points as my Input feature. I set the data point from the second excel sheet as my Near feature. I set the desired output value for meters.

Problem: When I get the output table of all the distances, they are not in Meters. They are in a decimal form. Maybe because my data is in longitude/latitude decimal degrees? Can someone explain how I can get my distance in Meters?

You will need to project your input data to an appropriate coordinate system that uses meters:

See (copy + paste the url). http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#//000800000048000000

The distances calculated by this tool are in the unit of the coordinate system of the input features.If your input is in a geographic coordinate system and you want output distances to be measured in a linear unit (as opposed to decimal degrees), you must first project your input to a projected coordinate system using the Project tool. For best results, use an equidistant projection or a projection intended for your study area (UTM, for example).