Using XY Data with ArcExplorer

ESRI's ArcExplorer—Java Edition for Education (AJEE) allows you to import and view XY data. Instructions are below. You can download this free GIS software and supporting documentation at

Note: If you are not using ArcExplorer GIS software, choose your program: ArcMap ~ ArcView 3.x ~ Other


To view XY coordinates in AJEE...

1. Collect your data and create your table according to the instructions provided here.

2. In ArcExplorer, click View>Add Event Theme.

3. In the Add Event Theme dialog, click the folder button to browse for your table. Make sure that latitude is listed as the X field and longitude is listed as the Y field. Choose an output directory, and choose a color and size for your point. Click OK.

4. ArcExplorer will save a point shapefile with the same name as your XY table in the output directory.

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Some GPS software packages will allow you to convert your GPS waypoints to shapefiles. You may not be able to use this software to make lines or polygons from your points, however. These are a few low- or no-cost conversion programs:

GPS waypoints to ESRI shapefiles free conversion utility from Minnesota DNR can be used as an extension for ArcView 3.x or as a standalone utility to convert Garmin GPS waypoints to shapefiles. This utility is very reliable and powerful.

Ozi Explorer GPS to GIS utility. not free, but works with a large number of GPS brands

GPS Utility for managing, manipulating and mapping GPS data from GPS Utility, Ltd.


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