Ask A Cartographer


September 02 2010 | 0 comments
Categories: Map Data

Can you enter coordinates in ArcMap 10? I have the correct map uploaded as my base map, however I need to place a symbol at certain specific coordinates.

Mapping Center Answer:

There are a couple of ways you can do this -- the one you choose to use will likely depend on how many symbols you need to place on your map. If you only need to place one or a few symbols, you can place a graphic point symbol at a specific latitude and longitude location (note that you can change the coordinates to the ones you are using by clicking on the drop down arrow) using the Go To XY tool. If you then want to make this a geographic feature, it can saved as a feature class using the Convert Graphics to Features option on the Draw toolbar. Note that you may have to define the map projection for the new feature class if you do not use the option to use the coordinate system of the data frame for your converted feature class.

If you have more points that you need to symbolize on the map and/or your data are in a file format (like Excel or a text file) in which you have the x and y coordinates, then you can instead use the Add XY Data method. On the top bar menu, click Tools then click Add XY Data. Browse to the location of the Excel or text file, and select the fields that contain the x and y coordinates. Then set the coordinate system. Click OK to add this as a temporary layer to your map. To make this a permanent feature class, you can export it. To do that, right click on the layer name in the Table of Contents, click Data and then click Export Data...

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