This is a beginner’s guide to creating a point layer in ArcGIS 10.2 using the latitude and longitude of the locations you wish to display. The first part of this guide will walk you through creating an Excel file of coordinates found in decimal degrees that are set up and ready to be imported into ArcGIS. How to locate coordinates online will also be discussed. This guide will then walk you through bringing your data into ArcGIS and creating your point layer on top of a base layer of countries. *For this guide we will be using an Excel table with information for places that would be great to visit around the world. Label your headings as the first row of your spreadsheet will contain the names of each column. In this guide, we have a Locations column to put the name of the place you have coordinates for. This column is followed by a Latitude and Longitude column that must have a Number format, unlike the Locations column. Columns will default to being in a General format, unless you change them. Once you have created your header row, you can input your data into the cells below. You can even create columns with other sorts of data that you may want to have accessible to you in ArcGIS. Be careful! Try and keep your header labels, any folders you’re using, and the name of your map to nine characters or less and do not include any special characters or spaces. To fill up the Excel table we will be taking the Decimal Degree data, highlighted in red in the image above from GeoHack, from a range of destinations the world over. The first coordinates to the left of the Decimal Degree data represent Latitude and the coordinates on the right represent Longitude. Copy and paste the data from GeoHack into your columns in Excel and don’t forget to include any negative signs as they are a crucial component of your coordinates. The Excel file created for this exercise is composed of destinations that we would love to visit with columns for location data, latitude, longitude, and a brief description of what makes the location special. Once your Excel table is complete you can move to working in ArcGIS. This guide is designed to complement version ArcMap 10.2. For a base map, this guide will be using the free-to-download Countries vector layers (highlighted red in the image below) from the Natural Earth website: http://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloads/110m-cultural-vectors/ Download the Countries data. The data is compressed, so before you can use it you will need to unzip it. If you don’t have any software to unzip files, 7-zip is a great free program that is easy to install. You can find it here: http://www.7-zip.org/. The Coordinate System and Projection of your map is initially set by the first layer with spatial data added to it. This information for your map can be found in the window that pops up if you double click Layers (highlighted in the image below). The Coordinate system and projection can be changed for your map and/or for your layer in several different places. To change the coordinate system and projection just for your layer, you can easily do this at the Add XY Data window. But, we won’t need to do this in this example. If you would like more information on changing Coordinate Systems and Projections, please go to this link: . When you have specified the X Field (Longitude) and Y Field (Latitude) in the Add XY Data window, click OK. A warning will appear, just click OK. A new layer will appear in the Table of Contents with the name of your Excel layer followed by the word Events and your Excel information will have translated into points on the map. In our example, we left the Excel sheet as the default name, Sheet1$, so the new layer is called Sheet1$ Events. Source.