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I want to create a buffer in meters around points in Europe. But I cannot find a proper CRS for Europe that is in meters instead of degrees?

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3 Answers 3

I suggest to use one of the LAEA or LCC Europe projections:

EPSG 5633, 5635, 5636, 5638 LAEA Europe


EPSG 5632, 5634, 5637, 5639 LCC Europe


All EPSG codes of the same type seem to have the same projection parameters.

ESRI also offers projections Europe_Albers_Equal_Area_Conic (102013) and Europe_Equidistant_Conic (102031), but they almost look the same.

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that is the exact base map I am looking for. Do you know a link where I can download that shapefile? –  jess May 16 '14 at 18:11
I just took Natural Earths world_boundaries, selected European countries by rectangle, and saved the selection to a new file. They also offer the 10 degree grid named ne_110m_graticules_10. –  AndreJ May 16 '14 at 18:15

It sounds like you are trying to use Geographic Coordinate Systems which are for locating points on a sphere (over-simplification). In order to do buffers and measurements, you need to use a Projected Coordinate System, which flattens the sphere out to plane. All projections will introduce some distortion in shape, area, distance, and/or direction. You simply have to select one that looks the best for your purpose. Andre has suggested several. You can also create your own custom projection. ESRI has put out a nice pdf you can find here that explains map projections and might help you to better understand and select/create an appropriate one for your purposes.

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Try EPSG: 32633. It's Universal Transverse Mercator 33N.

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I actually downloaded a shapefile of the world because I could not find an appropriate shapefile of Europe alone. I plan to remove the polygons I do not need. The projection is currently in NAD83. –  jess May 16 '14 at 17:59
When I changed it to EPSG: 32633 it distorted the map –  jess May 16 '14 at 18:00
UTM is not very useful for the whole of Europe. It distorts heavily when you are more than 45° away from the central meridian. –  AndreJ May 16 '14 at 18:05

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