You can turn some types of tabular data into geographic data. For example, if you have a table or text file containing spatial positions and attributes, you can create a layer or new feature class from the data in the table.
If you have a table of x,y coordinates, such as GPS measurements, you can add it to ArcMap to create a new point layer (known as an x,y event layer). If you want to make that layer permanent, you can export it from ArcMap or create a new point feature class in ArcCatalog from the data.
With a table of addresses, you can also add the table to ArcMap and use it to create new point features that represent the addresses. This is known as geocoding.
In addition, you can create a layer from a table of the positions of certain phenomena along a route. A table like this, known as a route event table, might describe speed limits or pavement conditions along a road.