XYZ file into ArcMap

Question: How to plot my xyz file into beautiful color contouring lines along with coast land relief

my data in xyz as ex. 83.23566 17.23456 3.6
83.23568 17.23459 4.2

longitude latitude depth

i would like to plot this single file into arcmap and should have complete control to modify and make contour map

-pls help

Answer: The online help topic is called “Adding x,y coordinate data as a layer“. You will need to perform following steps in order to get the final output (i.e. contours):

  1. If the X,Y,Z data are in textfile format, then open the file in Excel and in the Text Import Wizard, chose Delimited as the Original Data Type.  Click Next and set the delimiters (tab, space, semicolon, etc…) and then complete the rest of the dialogs for the wizard. Save the file in Excel format.
  2. Open ArcMap and browse to the location where you saved the Excel file you saved in Step 1 and open that file.
  3. On the top bar menu, click Tools then click Add XY Data.  Browse to the location of the Excel file, and select the fields that contain the x and y coordinates.  Then set the coordinate system. Click OK to add this as a temporary layer to your map.
  4. To make this a permanent feature class, you can export it.  Right click on the layer name in the Table of Contents, click Data and then click Export Data…
  5. Make sure the Spatial Analyst extension is enabled.  Using the Topo to Raster tool you can create the topological surface.  You will need to use the POINTELEVATION option for the input data type. Once the surface is created, you can generate contours.
  6. Use the Contour tool in the Surface toolset of the Spatial Analyst toolbox. Choose as the Input the surface you created in Step 5 and provide the other required parameters. This will generate the contours.

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About the author

Dr. Aileen Buckley has been making maps since she was an undergraduate student. She has a Bachelors in Geography and Spanish from Valparaiso University, a Masters in Geography from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in Geography from Oregon State University. She is a senior product engineer on the Living Atlas team, and her work focuses on determining and sharing best practices for mapping and analysis with modern GIS. She publishes and presents world-wide on many aspects of mapping and GIS. She is a co-author of Map Use: Reading, Analysis, Interpretation, and she is a co-editor for the Atlas of Oregon. Aileen is a former president of CaGIS (the U.S. cartographic association) and is actively involved with the International Cartographic Association in which she is the lead delegate for the United States.


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