Creating Points from x,y data in ArcMap

This procedure outlines the steps necessary to create points from a simple text file containing latitude and longitude coordinates. Often, this type of file results from research done using a GPS in the field. This procedure can be used to plot the GPS locations on a base map. The formats acceptable for this procedure include text (.txt), comma separated (.csv), dbase (.dbf) and Microsoft Access database (.mdb). Additional steps may be necessary based on the original file format. Follow the prompts given or use the help files for assistance.

NOTE: Convert Excel files to DBF (dbase) before importing.
NOTE: The first row of a text, DBF (dbase) or comma-separated file will be used as the column field names.

The original data in this example is provided as a DBF file with latitude and longitude coordinates in decimal degrees.

The table should look something like the following image.

In order to give the map a geographic reference, add the DMTI street network for Niagara (assuming the table respresents locations in the Niagara Region). The DMTI roads file is found on the DATA PC under E:/DATA/Niagara/DMTI/Canmapv7_2/roads_clip.shp

To create points based on the DBF table:

**TIP: See the following table for a summary of X, Y formats.**

Latitude 43 degrees UTM-Y 4,763,000 metres N
Longitude -79 degrees UTM-X 623,000 metres E

The XY data is automatically displayed in the map window. For this example, zoom in to the St. Catharines area to view the point data.


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