Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How to Upload CSV file of Projected Local Coordinates onto ArcGIS Online

The cloud/web based version of ESRI ArcMap (ArcGIS Online) has come to stay. However, unlike the desktop version (ArcMap) that support many local coordinates systems, ArcGIS Online currently supports geographic coordinates in WGS84 but hardly reads local projected coordinates such as Nigeria Minna Datum UTM Zone 32N, StatePlane coordinates NAD 1983 (e.g StatePlane_Illinois_East epsg: 102671), Hong Kon 1980 Grid System, etc

If you try to upload such CSV file that have projected coordinates on "ArcGIS Online", you will encounter this error that says: "The layer was not created because no locations could be found. Make sure your data has valid location information".

The is because the coordinates in the CSV file are projected in UTM Zone 32 - Minna Datum (used in Nigeria region - EPSG: 26332).

Note: If you getting this required screen error: Location fields not fully specified. Then it means you did not select the correct location fields from the CSV file.

So, be sure to select the correct fields, that is Eastings for Longitude and Northings for Latitude.

If you are getting this error that says: "The layer was not created because no locations could be found. Make sure your data has valid location information", then you have to do one of the following to successfully upload you CSV data file.

Solution 1: Convert the projected coordinates to Geographical coordinates (that is convert from easting & northing to longitude & latitude).

Solution 2: Convert the CSV file itself to GeoJSON. The reason why this GeoJSON work even though the coordinates are still in projected form is because of the attribute or object in the GeoJSON file that defines the correct coordinates system that the coordinates represented.

Here is the detailed step-by-step solution to uploading such files:-

The CSV data is as seen below. The coordinates are projected (rectangular coordinates) in meters instead of geographical coordinates in degrees. And they are based on Minna datum UTM zone 32N.

Let's follow these steps below to upload the CSV files as usual.

Step 1: Go to and login to you map dashboard

Step 2: Click on "maps" menu from the top. This will open the map dashboard, create a new map or select an existing map to load the cab file.

Step 3: Click on "Add" button and select "Add Layer from File"

Step 4: Browse to the CSV file and select it, then click on "Import Layer" button.

Step 5: Set the "Location Field" to match the CSV columns. Easting is for Longitude while Northing is for Latitude.

Step 6: Click on "Add Layer" to upload the point data.
These will return and error as stated above because the coordinates are not in geographic system recognized by ArcGIS Online.

So, we need to do a work around this by either converting the coordinates to geographical coordinates or convert the CSV file to GeoJSON . There are many tools that can help you complete this. You may use ArcMap or QGIS on the desktop or Google for online tools to get it done. Whichever solution you went for, you will then repeat steps above to complete the loading of the data successfully.

If you converted the projected coordinates to geographical, it will look like this...

You can now upload and match the "Location Field" accordingly. With this, you should have your data loaded correctly as seen below...

That is it.
I hope it was helpful.

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