When starting a mapping session on the total station, my team member accidentally switched the X and Y coordinates for the northing and easting for both the station and the backsight datums. We use UTM.

For example, imagine the coordinates in the top line are the correct station location, but the person entered the coordinates of the second line when prompted to enter the station location into the TS during setup, switching the X and Y:

Correct coordinates: Northing: 9015169.875, Easting: 192426.887, Z: 3219.287

Coordinates entered during TS setup: Northing: 192426.887, Easting: 9015169.875, Z: 3219.287

Importing the point data into GIS places the points in an obviously wrong map location. After changing the X and Y columns in my spreadsheet to see what would happen, the collected points are surprisingly near the correct location, but the points are both 1) in the wrong place (rotated/shifted) and 2) flipped/mirrored. Because of this, the solution isn't as simple as rotating/translating the points. They must also be flipped.

Here is an image of where the collected points are showing up on my map (Red) and where they should be (Blue). The point data collected is within an archaeology excavation unit, which is indicated by the grid--you can see how the correct blue location, when flipped, rotated, and translated, aligns to the edge of the grid. My goal is to get the points into the blue position.

enter image description here

Is there a way to fix the data? Such as a way to recalculate the position of all points using the correct datum locations?

EDIT/UPDATE: I realized there is a "mirror" tool in the ArcGIS editor and it's helped. But given the full extent of my data (more than what is shown in the image) and given that I still can't tell where exactly the points belong--it seems I can only approximate their location with mirror rotate and shift--I'm still curious if there is a way to recalculate the point positions using some GIS function, formula, or another program.

1 Answer 1


You don't need to mirror. A simple translation of X,Y should work. Add 8822742.988 to all Northings and subtract 8822742.988 from all Eastings.

  • Awesome I didn't know this was possible. I haven't tried it but will. THANK YOU SO MUCH @pointdump !!
    – ArchArchy
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 17:10

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