How do I create a shapefile from Latitute/Longitude Coordinates?
How to create a shapefile from XY coordinates using Excel and ArcMap:
- Open ArcMap.
- Go to File -> Add Data -> Add XY Data.
- In the “Add XY Data” dialog box, browse to your Excel file (can be in Excel 97-2003, 2007, or 2010), and select the worksheet that contains your table of coordinates.
- The X Field should be Longitude and the Y Field should be Latitude.
- If you know the spatial reference of the input coordinates, click the “Edit…” button and select it, then click OK. For example, if your coordinates are based on a WGS84 Geographic Coordinate System,
Click the “Edit…” button, then the “Select…” button, Geographic Coordinate Systems -> World -> WGS 1984.prj -> OK.If you do not select a spatial reference, the shapefile may have an Unknown Coordinate System, or take the incorrect one from the data frame’s properties.
- The coordinates should plot as a point event theme. Note that it is not a shapefile, just an event theme. To create a shapefile from the event theme, right-click the layer in the TOC and select Data -> Export Data…. Then select a location for the new shapefile, name it and click OK.
TIP: Make sure that coordinates South of the Equator and West of the Prime Meridian are negative, or your points will plot in the wrong hemisphere!