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1 Transforming WGS84 Lat-Long Coordinate List to Hong Kong 1980 Grid Northing and Easting Coordinate List Article ID : Software : ArcGIS ArcView 9.1, ArcGIS ArcEditor 9.1, ArcGIS ArcInfo 9.1 Platform : Windows XP Date : November 13, 2006 Background Some users may use GPS receivers to measure locations and plot the results on digital map. However, the coordinates of measured locations are always in Latitude and Longitude format under WGS84 datum measurement due to the fact that not all GPS devices provide the functions of converting WGS84 coordinates to our local grid coordinates, i.e. Hong Kong 1980 Grid. In this case, we may need to use software functions to help us to perform such coordinates transformation. The following steps show how to conduct the coordinate transformation from WGS84 to Hong Kong 1980 Grid correctly in ArcGIS Desktop. Procedures 1 Type in your Latitude and Longitude values to an Excel file and Export to a DBF file 1.1 Open Microsoft Excel and type in the Latitude and Longitude values as show below: The first row should be reserved for entering field names such as Long and Lat in the above figure. 1.2 Before saving the Excel file as DBF file, please pay attention to steps Make sure the values you entered is defined as number with enough decimal places. Highlight the input cells and right click, choose Format Cells, a dialog will open as shown in below diagrams: All rights reserved. P. 1 of 9

2 Make sure Number is selected and you have got much of the decimal places for the cell format. This is important to define the number of decimal places as much as possible since minor difference in decimal degrees will result in great difference when the latitude and longitude values are represented in Degree Minute Second. Please see the example below for reference: All rights reserved. P. 2 of 9

3 When comparing the values highlighted in red, the difference in decimal degree latitude values is only but this would result in 3.35 difference in Degree Minute Second. Since 1 corresponds about 30m on the ground, so there will be more than 100m location error. 1.4 Highlight the range of the cells. 1.5 Click File > Save as, a dialog will open as shown below: In the Save as type pull down list, scroll down and select DBF 4 (dbase IV) format, your Excel file will be saved as DBF format which is now ready to use in ArcMap. All rights reserved. P. 3 of 9

4 2 Using Add XY Function in ArcMap to Plot the Latitude and Longitude values with the exported DBF 2.1 Open ArcMap 2.2 Click Tool > Add XY Data, a dialog will open for you to define the XY field to map the points: Click this button and navigate to the location you saved the DBF file, select the file and click Add button, the DBF will be loaded to this dialog. Select the field with X and Y coordinates stored. Refer to It is highly advised to choose a spatial reference for your DBF mapping data. Click Edit button shown in the left figure above and choose a coordinate system: Click Edit to open the Spatial Reference Properties > Click Select > Navigate to Geographic Coordinate Systems > World folder > Select WGS 1984.prj file > Click Add > Click OK to close the Spatial Reference Properties dialog > Check Show Details > The details of the WGS84 coordinate system will be shown. 2.4 Click OK, a Point Event Layer will be generated in ArcMap TOC and several points are plotted on the map area. Point Event Layer All rights reserved. P. 4 of 9

5 3 Defining Data Frame Properties to conduct coordinate transformation from WGS84 to Hong Kong 1980 Grid 3.1 Right click the Data Frame and click properties Right click the active data frame And then choose Properties 3.2 The Properties Dialog will open, go to General Tab, select display unit as Meters and then go to Coordinate System Tab: 3.3 In the Coordinate System Tab, expand the Predefined folder as show above, navigate to Projected Coordinate Systems > National Grids and click on Hong Kong 1980 Grid, the details will be shown in Current coordinate system, this selection will invoke the Map Projection process, then click Transformation button to open the Geographic Coordinate System Transformations Dialog, this will invoke Datum Transformation process: All rights reserved. P. 5 of 9

6 b) Click Transformation button to invoke datum transformation. The Geographic Coordinate System Transformations Dialog will open. a) Highlight Hong Kong 1980 Grid to invoke map projection 3.4 Both map projection and datum transformation processes requires parameters, all these parameters were already built-in in ArcGIS Desktop. It is not necessary to modify map projection parameters but for datum transformation parameters, you are advised to modify the default values if you have acquired a more accurate set of parameters or you want to change the datum transformation method. Click the New button to open the New Geographic Transformations Dialog to modify Methods and Parameters: 3.5 If you just want to use the default values, click OK to close the Geographic Coordinate System Transformations Dialog and click OK again to close the Data Frame Properties Dialog, the map display area will refresh and transform the data to Hong Kong 1980 Grid System 3.6 Note that the coordinates shown in status bar has been changed to m magnitudes: All rights reserved. P. 6 of 9

7 4 Convert the Point Event Layer to a Point Feature Class 4.1 Right click the Point Event Layer > Choose Data > Export Data, a dialog will open for you to convert the Point Event Layer to a point shapefile or point feature class in a Personal or ArcSDE Geodatabase: 4.2 Choose the data frame under Use the same coordinate system as: section as shown in the left figure above. 4.3 Click button, the Saving Data Dialog will open. Navigate the location you want to save the output file: Choose the type of file you want to save from the Save as type pull down list, you can choose to save the file as Personal Geodatabase / SDE feature classes or shapefile. If you want to save the output layer as Personal Geodatabase / SDE feature classes, you must select the database first. In this case, shapefile will be used. 4.4 Click save and click OK, the layer will be exported. 4.5 Upon completion of export, you will be asked to add the exported layer to ArcMap, click Yes. 4.6 You can now remove the Point Event Layer. 4.7 Examine the attribute table of the exported layer by right clicking the layer name and choose Open All rights reserved. P. 7 of 9

8 Attribute Table, the table will look like this: 4.8 Note that the Latitude and Longitude values are still here, they are read as attributes of this layer so the values will NOT be updated. However, the coordinates stored in the SHAPE field are already converted to Hong Kong 1980 Grid Coordinates during the export process. 5 Add the Northing and Easting Values in the Attribute Table 5.1 Open ArcToolbox by clicking this button at the top of the standard toolbar. 5.2 ArcToolbox will open next to the ArcMap TOC, navigate to Data Management Tools > Features, there is a tool called Add XY Coordinates. Double click the name to open the tool. 5.3 There is only one option in the tool, select the name of the exported file as shown below: 5.4 Click OK. 5.5 Two fields POINT_X and POINT_Y populated with Hong Kong 1980 Grid Coordinates will be added to the attribute table of the exported layer. All rights reserved. P. 8 of 9

9 5.6 Open the Attribute Table of the exported layer and examine the result, you can now see that the Hong Kong 1980 Grid Northing (Y) and Easting (X) coordinates are created for each point features: The End All rights reserved. P. 9 of 9

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