How To Export Garmin GPS Data Into Arcmap

If you want to export coordinates data from the a handheld Garmin GPS to ArcMap, you can use MapSource and Excel.

Follow the steps below:
  1. Connect GPS to the computer using the GPS PC interface connector.
  2. Turn on the GPS unit.
  3. Open Mapsource
  4. Select correct coordinate settings in Mapsource by: a. Select Edit > Preferences; Position tab b. Position format: UTM c. Datum: NAD27CONUS
  5. Transfer > Receive from device > Receive Make sure that only the waypoints are checked. If you have tracks, I recommend downloading tracks and waypoints separately.
  6. Save Mapsource file (.gdb or .mps) in case you need to change the datum or projection for the GPS points at a later time. File > Save > Save “file_name.gdb” in your student folder.
  7. Export to text (tab delimited) file. File > Save as > text (tab delimited) > Save “file_name.txt” in your student folder.
  8. Open Microsoft Office Excel.
  9. Main menu > File > Open > Browse to student folder > Select file_name.txt file.
  10. Select delimited text > next > check tab > finish. Save file as .xls in case you need to repeat steps at a later time.
  11. Delete the first three rows (Grid row, Datum row, and blank row). Delete the blank row between the field headers and the waypoints.
  12. Delete unnecessary columns.
  13. Insert 3 columns after “Position” column.
  14. Highlight the “Position” column.
  15. Separate your latitude and longitude coordinates into individual columns. Data Tab > Text to Columns > Delimited > next >check Space > Finish.
  16. Add/change the field headers for Eastings, Northings, and Elevation (Z).
  17. Save file as a text .txt
  18. Optional: Save as .xls file using a different file name.
  19. Exit out of Excel. You can not import the .txt file into ArcMap with the file open in Excel
  1. Open your class project in ArcMap
  2. Add XY data from text file a. Main Menu > Tools > Add XY Data b. Browse to folder > Select the file you created in previous step c. Set the X Field and the Y Field to “Eastings” and “Northings” in the drop down menu d. Under Define Spatial Reference of Input Coordinates. Edit > Select > Projected > UTM > NAD 1927 > NAD 1927 UTM Zone 11N.prj > OK
  3. You will get a warning stating that the Table Does Not Have Object-ID > OK
  4. Export XY points to Shapefile. Right-click on waypoint event layer. Data > Export Data > check this layer’s data source. Wave the “waypoint.shp” file in your student folder. Choose to add the exported data to the map as a layer.
  5. Optional: Remove XY Events. Right-click on event layer > Remove
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