In ArcCatalog and ArcMap 10.

I have set up a feature class with all the fields I want to populate. I have data in a table format which includes wasting and birthing columns. I used the load data to get the data into the feature class. All the data came in successfully including the easting and northing. Now I want to display the points. I cannot find anywhere to display the positions and use the easting and northing data.

How can i display this data? Or set the easting and northing columns to be the position of the points?

The ultimate aim is to take a table and in one step out that data into a displayable feature class with set fields.

  • Please edit the question to clarify if you have done more than reference the data as a table. Just having easting and northing columns does not make a geometry -- you need to make an event layer or point feature class for the data to render.
    – Vince
    Jan 8, 2016 at 11:54

2 Answers 2


If you are using Feature Classes it sounds like you are using ESRI software.

In Arcmap, for example, you can right click your table once you have it in your table on contents and select "display xy data". Choose the columns used for E & N. This looks like a good little demo of this:


  • Hi thanks for replying. This is arcmap and arc catalog 10.3 I am using. The feature class I have is a point feature class. I want to be able to take an txt of data and load it and view it and have it be a feature class with point viewable with location. I know about adding xy data and then exporting it but I want a one step solution. It seems that this should be possible. The feature class has all the information it needs but I just need to tell it which fields are the coordinates for the points. I also don't want to go the route of using the make xy event as that is a other step.
    – user mik
    Jan 8, 2016 at 5:46
  • Also I have seen another post where someone wants the same thing. The only answer was to make files from making xy events and then loading them. But seems like people would want a simpler solution and you just take data from a text file and I put it and then it becomes a point file with points able to be displayed. Or at least have it somewhere that you can tell the feature class which filed is the xy data and use it.
    – user mik
    Jan 8, 2016 at 5:48
  • Can you use MS Access or SQL Server (or simliair). If you have a table (or a view)in one of those and then append records to it then in Arcmap you can have a map session that is displaying that table (or view) as an xy event layer. Or a python script could do it - convert a table to a feature class and add to a map. Maybe you need to step out your exact workflow to get some good answers. Jan 8, 2016 at 5:57

If you want it as a one step process, I'd either make a python script or even use model builder. This is the only option from what I can see. Once created you can use it multiple times. You'd need your Excel or txt file in a readable format e.g. XYZ headers and data below. For example, you'd need a few user parameters.enter image description here

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  • Thanks you all for responses. I just have to accept the two step solution of making xy feature with the table and loading that to feature class. I think I got hung up on this one step. Appreciate the model builder idea and if I get lots of data I will implement that.
    – user mik
    Jan 8, 2016 at 17:09

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