I have received thousands of location information like below.

X= 10°52.579 Y= 078°38.473

I don't have idea in which format is this, please let me know what is the format of this location and please refer me how to convert this into decimal degrees to create the location points in ArcGIS software.

  • Paste it to Google maps and see where it'll take you! It took me to Svalbard.
    – Martin
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 14:52
  • I did that, the Google map has given values in meters 10.876497,78.641251, this result i need, but i have thousand of values like this. i can't do this for each and every point, it may take weeks together to complete my work.
    – Mahesh
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 14:55
  • Is your data formatted exactly like the example? Is it in a text file or stored in a database?
    – Martin
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 14:59
  • First of all, I heartly thank you for helping me, My data are in Excel sheet. the values are exactly same how i showed above
    – Mahesh
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 15:00
  • 1
    Is it possible that the X and Y are reversed? The leading zero in "Y= 078°38.473" suggest a -180 to +180 domain, only longitudes go to 180, longitudes are an X value. This is comonly reversed because we always say X,Y coordinates and Latitude/longitude but latitude is y and longitude is X... Is the data supposed to be in Southern india? Oh and they are degrees and decimal minutes and to put them in ArcGIS, best to convert them to decimal degrees (minutes/60 + degrees.)
    – Alex Gray
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 21:06

2 Answers 2


As stated by others it appears that your source data is a set of Latitude/Longitude coordinates stored in degree minute notation. If the values are stored as text in your excel file try using the following formula to convert the values (this excel formula assumes that you have your X values in column A):

=LEFT(A1,SEARCH(CHAR(161),A1)-1) + (MID(A1,SEARCH(CHAR(161),A1)+1,999) /60)

Here's a breakdown of the functions used in the formula:


  • This function is used to parse out the whole number value of your coordinate. The first input (A1) is the cell reference for your input X coordinate value. The second input is the SEARCH function.


  • This function is used to search the coordinate value for the degree symbol. The first input is CHAR(161), which will return the degree symbol. The second input is the cell reference for your input X coordinate. Since the SEARCH function will return the position of the degree symbol you need to subtract 1 from it so that the number will be parsed properly.

The second part of the formula calculates the fractional part of the coordinate, which is in decimal minutes.


  • This function will parse out the decimal minute part of the coordinate. It uses the same SEARCH function as the first section of the formula but adds 1 to the output since you are trying to parse out the right hand part of the input.

The output from the MID function is then converted to degrees by dividing by 60.

When I tested the above formula with your example X coordinate I got an output of 10.87631.

  • 2
    Just a slight correction, Mahesh's coordinates are in Degree Decimal Minutes. Your formula is converting that into Decimal Degrees.
    – Mintx
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 16:55
  • Yes, I'm converting to Decimal Degrees as I thought that was what he was looking for. If he wants to get the data into ArcGIS it would probably be easiest if the coordinates are in Decimal Degrees.
    – dblanchett
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 17:21
  • @Mintx just realized what you were referring to in your comment and have edited my answer. Thanks for catching that.
    – dblanchett
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 21:22

Excel might be helpful in converting those coordinates.

"Seperate your data into a degree field, a minute field and a seconds (with decimal if you have it) field. Divide your seconds by 60 and add this to your minutes. Divide your resultant decimal miutes number by 60 and add to your degrees. You now have decimal degrees. Keep in mind that "S" becomes a negative value if you are in the southern hemisphere, and "W" becomes negative for everybody west of the the central meridian." (quoting this forum thread) Esri Forum

OR this tool might do everything for you Convert Coordinate Notation Tool

  • dear thank you so much for your help, please can you tell me, in which format my location values are framed (10°52.579)
    – Mahesh
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 15:31
  • 1
    It appears that your values are in the Degree Decimal Minutes (DMM) format 10°52'57" = Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS) 10°52.579 = Degree Decimal Minutes (DM.M) 10.xxxxx = Decimal Degrees (DD) Refer to this excellent guide to the different formats and conversions Lat/Long Formats
    – GeoGhost
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 16:11
  • Note that Degree Decimal Minutes: 10°52.579 is not the same location as Degrees Minutes Seconds: 10°52'57"
    – Mintx
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 17:02

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