GIS Cookbook: Recipe - Importing an Excel table to your GIS project 
Keywords: Tables, Excel, linking, joining, data management
Category: Data Analysis
Software: ArcView 3.2

Problem: I have data in an Excel format, how do I use it within my ArcView project?

Description: Often the data we work with does not come nicely packaged in a GIS data file. Instead we work with a variety of different data sources. In this recipe we will convert data from an Excel database into GIS friendly formats and then import them so that they can be used within your ArcView project.

1) Open Excel, and the data file that you want to use in ArcView. Bring up the exact data spreadsheet you would like to import.

2) Go to the File -> Save As menu option

3) Set the Save in: folder to a familiar directory and remember where you saved it.

4)Set the Save as type: to DBASE IV.

the Save As window

5) Set your file name appropriately and click Save.

6) A message while appear about multiple worksheets, Click OK to the verification message about multiple worksheets. (Note: If you have multiple work sheets in your excel workbook, you will need to repeat steps 1-6 for each that you would like to import to ArcView)

7) Then Click Yes to the informational message regarding formats. The Data you selected is then written to disk as a DBase file.

8) Close excel.

9) Open ArcView 3.x. You can either import it to a new project, or to a existing project.

10) Use the Add Data button to add the DBase files to the map. If you do not know how to do this yet see the recipe How to Open a New Project and View or Existing Project, then Add Data (ArcView 3.2).

11) Navigate to the folder where you saved the .dbf files. Select the file or files you would like to add, and click the Add button. If you receive an error message See Pitfall 1, or See Pitfall 2.

12) The DBase tables are displayed in your view.
Authored by: Benjamin N. Sprague Modified: 9/9/03

Copyright © 2002-2015 by Regents of University of California, Santa Barbara
Cookbook: Ben Sprague, Ethan Sundilson, Carlin Wong, Sam Ying