I have a problem with importing a list of coordinates to ArcMap. I have a shape file of regions of Chile and I would like to add a list of locations with coordinates I got from Google Maps.

The shape file with the Chilean regions is coming from http://sit.conaf.cl/. I open it with ArcMap and from the property tab I get the following information: Projected Coordinate System: WGS 84 / UTM zone 19S. Projection: Transverse_Mercator. For instance, one point from the respective region is 223.205,971 5.545.419,924 Meters.

My locations from Google Maps look like -39,812159 / -73,178511.
I guess I just need to pick the right coordinate system when importing but I cannot not figure out which one that would be. Whatever system I choose, the points will not show up.

If I import this list using the Add XY data feature to a new project and select a random coordinate system, the points will show up. So I think that there is nothing wrong with the spreadsheet.


Google maps uses WGS 84 Web Mercator. If you've tried creating your points with this coordinate system and haven't been successful, there is probably something wrong with your inputs. The commas for decimal points raises an eyebrow for me. Replace the commas with periods and see if it works.


If you have two suspected spatial references for the list of coordinates, here are some steps to confirm if they are correct or not.

  1. Open up new ArcMap
  2. Add one of the ESRI general basemap WMS layers (one that has data for entire Earth)
  3. For dataframe select Properties>Coordinate System tab, change the spatial reference to one of the suspected spatial references
  4. Add in the coordinate table
  5. Right click on table create XY event layer

If the points align in the correct country/region you probably have the correct spatial reference, then right click on event layer and export to new layer and check the radio button to use dataframe reference. If the points do not align correctly, pick another spatial reference for step 3 above.

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