I was handed this file and expected to know what to do with it. Does it possibly mean that point 1 is ~6539 ft from some marker and ~11370 from another marker? Are these types of file usually in metric or standard?

Sorry for all the sub-questions, I just would like to know basically how to glean info from this file.

Sample Data:

1   6539.603    11370.224   3387.635    
2   6558.233    11370.503   3387.023    
3   6586.439    11357.517   3386.395    
4   6604.131    11357.935   3385.786    
5   6615.655    11357.978   3385.310    
6   6629.992    11358.072   3385.020    
7   6640.550    11358.197   3384.977    
8   6659.566    11359.253   3384.952    
9   6666.896    11381.068   3385.652    
10  6658.798    11381.012   3385.682

LuWi pointed out that the answer would depend on what I need to do with the data:

I am expected to convert this information into latitude and longitude points; I feel like I need more information from the giver of this data, but I do not know what to ask for.

  • 1
    is this data additional to the point coordinates? It looks very much like x/y/z-Values to me. (in which case, it would be the distance to the x, y, and z-axis, respectively). Also, in GIS, coordinates are usually in meters. – LuWi Aug 21 '15 at 11:06
  • this is the only data I was given. From your comment, I assume I need to ask for more information from the person who gave this to me. – Douglas.Sesar Aug 21 '15 at 11:19
  • more information (Metadata) is always good. But it really depends on what you want to do with that data. If this is all you were given, those are coordinate triplets, and you could for example plot them using any GIS or CAD software. – LuWi Aug 21 '15 at 11:24
  • If they are x/y/z coordinates, would x represent North/South from a reference point? If z is Altitude, this data would be strange in that 3387m is well over 10,000ft. I am sorry for my total lack of knowledge in how a GIS program could interpret this. – Douglas.Sesar Aug 21 '15 at 11:29
  • 1
    unless you know (and that information, you'll have to get by asking the supplier), where the origin of the coordinate system is, interpreting data is pretty much useless. You are correct that 3387m is quite high, but high above what? The data points could also be in the mountains (and we can't know until we know the coordinate system), where those z-Values would be quite possible. A list of the most widely used systems can be found here: spatialreference.org/ref/epsg (~4000 systems). – LuWi Aug 21 '15 at 11:39

You need to ask for more information, specifically the coordinate system of the data.

These look like x/y/z coordinate values to me, but you cannot accurately display them without knowing what coordinate system they are in. They look like they may be in meters, but there are many coordinate systems that use meters.

Once you know what coordinate system your data is in, you can follow the steps at this link to add the data to a map (if you are using ArcMap). Feel free to post a separate question if you run into problems with this process.

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