I am trying to export from Trimble Pathfinder into an ESRI Geodatabase, in UTM10N (EPSG:26910), however I do not have a spatial reference XML setup in the export preferences. I looked into how to get this and found instructions that said I could use ArcCatalog 10.0 on a standard license to do it. I have access to a standard license but it is 10.3. I tried using the spatial reference exported from that but Pathfinder crashes on export when using it.

I have looked online and tried some XML variants posted at epsg.io and other websites, but nothing is working, I suspect because the ESRI XML variant to be used in a file geodatabase is somewhat customized (?).

Does anyone have leads on how to get this XML snippet so I can do this export to file geodatabase?

  • Why don't you try exporting to shapefile then importing to the Geodatabase and set the spatial reference then? – Drew Smith May 10 '16 at 20:44

I did a work-around. I took the spatial reference text from my BC Albers coordinate system settings and copy/pasted them into my Pathfinder UTM10N export settings, then got the proper values for UTM10N off spatialreference.org and manually swapped them into the appropriate fields in the Pathfinder UTM10N setup text. I had to remove the standard parallel parameters from the conic projection and put in scale factor parameter, but once those were swapped in I tested the export against shapefile exports of the same data (also to UTM10N using an existing .prj file) and made sure both datasets lined up spatially.

Here is the syntax I used, should be mutate-able into whatever coordinate system you need, provided you get the proper values for it from another variant of the syntax:

PROJCS["NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_10N",GEOGCS["GCS_North_American_1983",DATUM["D_North_American_1983",SPHEROID["GRS_1980",6378137.0,298.257222101]],PRIMEM["Greenwich",0.0],UNIT["Degree",0.0174532925199433]],PROJECTION["Transverse_Mercator"],PARAMETER["False_Easting",500000.0],PARAMETER["False_Northing",0.0],PARAMETER["Central_Meridian",-123.0],PARAMETER["scale_factor",0.9996],PARAMETER["Latitude_Of_Origin",0.0],UNIT["Meter",1.0],AUTHORITY["EPSG",26910]] -5120900 -9998100 10000 0.001 true 26910


Also, remove ".LatestWKID......./LatestWKID." from the XML. Pathfinder will give you that warning. I would have thought by Pathfinder Office 5.81 that Trimble would have included the ESRI Geodatabase coordinate system schema in the program. But not yet. Some day.


There is a great article on GIS Stack Exchange regarding this. It takes you step by step as to how to extract the spatial reference in XML. The title of the document is "Exporting Data to a File Geodatabase using Trimble GPS Pathfinder Office".

Basically using ArcCatalog, right click on the geodatabase with the spatial reference you desire, export to XML Workspace Document, choose schema only and save to desired location. Open the XML document, scroll down to spatial reference, select all that portion from <SpatialReference xsi:type to the end </SpatialReference>

Copy and paste into spatial reference XML tab within the export function of Pathfinder.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • 2
    Please edit your answer to provide a link to the "great article on GIS Stack Exchange" as I can't find it here anywhere – Midavalo Jul 15 '16 at 20:58

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