I am trying to convert MGRS coordinates to something that I can add into ArcGIS 10.2

I have a DBF file with MGRS coordinates that look like this: 11UNG37756325 They are in a text field and I am trying to use the Convert Coordinate Notation (Data Management) tool to convert them into either DD or UTM so I can use the "Add XY Data" function in ArcGIS.

I set my tool up as such

Input Table: My dbf table

Input Coordinate System: I left to default (GCS_WGS_1984) But also tried with (WGS_1984_UTM_Zone_11N)

Output Coordinate System: Left to defaut (GCS_WGS_1984) But also tried with (WGS_1984_UTM_Zone_11N)

Input Coordinate Format: MRGS

X Field: My text field with the MRGS coordinate writen as 11UNG37756325

Output Coordinate Format: UTM_ZONES, but I also tried DD_2

When I run, I get unknown error that looks like this

"Messages Executing: ConvertCoordinateNotation UTM11 I:\Workspaces\James\AlainTasks\140612_EWCCarbonStock\Data\Databases\NSDBFromAl\Testing\UTM11_Convert.shp MGRS MGRS MGRS UTM_ZONES # "PROJCS['WGS_1984_UTM_Zone_11N',GEOGCS['GCS_WGS_1984',DATUM['D_WGS_1984',SPHEROID['WGS_1984',6378137.0,298.257223563]],PRIMEM['Greenwich',0.0],UNIT['Degree',0.0174532925199433]],PROJECTION['Transverse_Mercator'],PARAMETER['False_Easting',500000.0],PARAMETER['False_Northing',0.0],PARAMETER['Central_Meridian',-117.0],PARAMETER['Scale_Factor',0.9996],PARAMETER['Latitude_Of_Origin',0.0],UNIT['Meter',1.0]];-5120900 -9998100 10000;-100000 10000;-100000 10000;0.001;0.001;0.001;IsHighPrecision" PROJCS['WGS_1984_UTM_Zone_11N',GEOGCS['GCS_WGS_1984',DATUM['D_WGS_1984',SPHEROID['WGS_1984',6378137.0,298.257223563]],PRIMEM['Greenwich',0.0],UNIT['Degree',0.0174532925199433]],PROJECTION['Transverse_Mercator'],PARAMETER['False_Easting',500000.0],PARAMETER['False_Northing',0.0],PARAMETER['Central_Meridian',-117.0],PARAMETER['Scale_Factor',0.9996],PARAMETER['Latitude_Of_Origin',0.0],UNIT['Meter',1.0]] Start Time: Fri Dec 12 09:47:50 2014

ERROR 999999: Error executing function.

cannot convert mgrs to xy coordinate

Failed to execute (ConvertCoordinateNotation).

Failed at Fri Dec 12 09:47:51 2014 (Elapsed Time: 1.17 seconds)"

I don't know if there is a problem in my input format of the MRGS coordinates or if my input or output coordinate systems are inappropriate.


2 Answers 2


The only thing that pops up for me as wrong is the input MGRS string. The output Coordinate Format parameter can be just about anything because it is just an extra populated field in case you need coordinates in another system; I usually delete this field.

An MGRS string usually has a 2 character description of the 100Km grid. Yours has a three character description. Another thing ArcMap does not like (I don't see this in the OP's example) is an odd number of digits, e.g., a four-number easting and a three-number northing. That will just get ignored when using search/navigate tools. I don't think it would get through the CCN tool either. Use a zero at the end to pad out the shorter number.


As commented by @mkennedy:

When I drop down a level and run directly in the Esri projection engine, I get NaN (not a number) so the software doesn't think this is a valid MGRS string. NGA's Geotrans reports: "Latitude band cuts across 100km square." That means the first letter doesn't jive with the other two and the number.

You seem to agree when you commented:

I seem to get errors when using this data in web browser converts and in geotrans. Maybe it is my data that's messed up.

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