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ArcMap GIS Trackline Help Needed

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#1
GISGreenie

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Hi all;



I'm new to both ArcMap and this forum so thanks in advance for any help you may be able to provide.



I'm writing today to see if anyone knows how to add a "Trackline" of data to a map in ArcMap. My dilemma is that I've loaded a satellite image and a base topo map, added a grid, added a point location, and all is well. I would like to be able to load a file (csv, text, excel, etc) of points and have this display as a trackline on the top of the map.



Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I may be able to do this? I feel it should use the "Add Route Events" feature, but I have no idea what to use when that feature asks me for a "Route Reference" and a "Route Identifier". I'd assume the Event Table would be my data? Perhaps I'm completely wrong...



Thanks so much in advance for any help you may be able to provide! :)

#2
Laura Miles

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I'm not sure what you mean by 'trackline', but it sounds like your real question may be how to load text or excel points into ArcMap. If that is so, you can go to the "Tools" menu and choose "Add XY data". Choose whichever field represents your X, whichever one represents your Y, etc. I believe they need to be in decimal degrees.
Route events is for route analysis, which I don't think from your description is what you are after. If you're looking to turn these points into a line, I think ET GeoWizards has a tool, Points to Polylines, unless you have an ArcInfo license in which case ArcMap should be able to do this. But first you'd need to go into ArcCatalog and convert your XY table to a spatial file by right-clicking it and clicking "Create Features" > "From XY Table". You'll have to pick your XY columns here as well.
Hope that made sense and was somewhat helpful!
Laura

#3
GISGreenie

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I'm not sure what you mean by 'trackline', but it sounds like your real question may be how to load text or excel points into ArcMap. If that is so, you can go to the "Tools" menu and choose "Add XY data". Choose whichever field represents your X, whichever one represents your Y, etc. I believe they need to be in decimal degrees.
Route events is for route analysis, which I don't think from your description is what you are after. If you're looking to turn these points into a line, I think ET GeoWizards has a tool, Points to Polylines, unless you have an ArcInfo license in which case ArcMap should be able to do this. But first you'd need to go into ArcCatalog and convert your XY table to a spatial file by right-clicking it and clicking "Create Features" > "From XY Table". You'll have to pick your XY columns here as well.
Hope that made sense and was somewhat helpful!
Laura


Hi Laura;

Thank you so very much for your response. Yes, you have the right idea about what I want. I essentially want to plot a number of points along a route that a vessel is taking one at a time and "connect the dots". I want them in a format that I can reload regularly as points will be added to the table over time. (ie: May have 2 sets of lats/lons today but in a week we may have 20).

I tried what you suggested with the Add XY Data function. Here's what I did:
Add XY Data:
-Selected by .xls file
-XField = Longitude (X)
-YField = Latitude (Y)
-Selected Coordinate system by clicking the "Edit" button and selected the Mercator Projection (which the rest of my map is in)
-Clicked OK
Message appeared: Table Does Not Have Object ID Field (with some accompanying text in the box below)
I clicked on OK and the points plotted, but in the wrong area. They appear near the equator and should be near West Greenland. When I click on one point to get the info I see:
Location: -0.33 5483, 0.021229 Decimal Degrees
Long (X) = -58.478112
Lat (Y) = 70.315075
Shape = Point

I wish to have these points plotted in the positions that my Lat and Lon specify, but I'm not sure how to get them to go to the proper location. The format of my .xls sheet simply has 3 columns:
Column 1: Data Name
Column 2: LatDD (Decimal Degrees)
Column 3: LonDD (Decimal Degrees)
The columns with the decimal degrees have been edited to have 4 places after the decimal.

Any thoughts on why this may be acting this way? I get a feeling it's a coordinate system error, but I can't seem to rectify it.

Thanks again and have a great day!

PS: Without downloading an add-on, is there a way to "connect the dots" in the order that they're in on the table I load in? It'd be nice to have that line indicating which was identified first, second, etc. Thanks again!

#4
Laura Miles

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I think you have tried to project your data, but first you need to define the data's projection. It's a very common error. So, when loading your data from XY points, choose the projection that it is currently in - not what you want it to be in for your map. After that, use the "project" tool to change its existing projection into the one you are using in your map.

What license level of ArcGIS are you using and which edition? This can help me tell you how best to convert to polylines.
Laura

#5
GISGreenie

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I think you have tried to project your data, but first you need to define the data's projection. It's a very common error. So, when loading your data from XY points, choose the projection that it is currently in - not what you want it to be in for your map. After that, use the "project" tool to change its existing projection into the one you are using in your map.

What license level of ArcGIS are you using and which edition? This can help me tell you how best to convert to polylines.
Laura


Thank you, Laura. I have since discovered that I was indeed in the wrong projection and all is well on that front.

In terms of the polylines; if you could possibly provide any advice at all on how to load specific points into a Polyline (rather than clicking approximately on the map), I'd be most grateful.

Thanks again!

#6
GISGreenie

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Further to that last post...

I'm using V9.3.1; single desktop lisence.

Thank you!! :)




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