How To: Use the SDTS Point to Arc Utility


I have just downloaded some SDTS Point Profile formatted data and have learned that the "SDTS Point to Arc" utility will convert this information into an ArcInfo coverage that can be brought into ArcView. When I access this utility from the Windows "Start" menu -> "Programs" -> "Esri" programs group I am presented with an interface, but when I enter the proper information I see a DOS window appear and then disappear. I searched my local hard drives for what should be a resulting coverage, but nothing is found. How do I use this utility?


The following is a very generic approach to using this SDTS Point to Arc Utility

1. Input Prefix:

When this data was downloaded, you may have been asked to enter a four character identifier for retrieval of the data. In most cases, you were asked to use uppercase characters only and it was this identifier that is or will be used as the first four characters of the dataset name for all SDTS modules.

In this first parameter, you would enter the path to this folder and include the four character identifier. This can be lowercase.


2. Output Coverage:

Give the data a coverage name and tell it where to store this information.


3. Layer name:

This is optional. You do not need to enter any information.

That's all.

Click "Ok" and you should see a DOS window appear with the SDTS information in it. If all information is entered correctly, the DOS window with all data information will be displayed and not close until you close it. If the DOS window appears and disappears immediately, you've entered something incorrectly or could be using the incorrect utility for the data you've downloaded.

This SDTS Point Profile formatted data set produced a point coverage that could then be brought into a View in ArcView.


The SDTS Point Profile formatted data set downloaded for the example given in this document was downloaded from:


This USGS quad is from Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

At this site, the following information is requested:

Quad Name: Belle Chasse

Selected the bullet to "Send me all the SDTS files compressed into one ZIP file, suitable for extracting with the PKUNZIP utility"

Required four character identifier: BLCH (you can enter any four characters)

Optional Dataset Title:

Clicked on "Submit" and was presented with USGS Quadrangle Names and asked to "Click one, then SUBMIT"

Selected the only option which was "N294500" ...

Selected "Any Horz. and/or Vert. Control for "Data Type Desired" then clicked on "Submit"