I have an interpolated raster image with EPSG:27700 (British National Grid), after I warp it using gdalwarp into EPSG:3857 (WGS84 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere)):

gdalwarp -s_srs EPSG:27700 -t_srs EPSG:3857 input.tif output.tif

which works fine (GDAL 1.10.1), (including a little bit of twisting (black cells) in the output one which is understandable as I guess there must be a little bit of distortion).

Then, if I create a Web Map Service (wms) in Geoserver using the output file as datastore, when I display the wms in a web page, by using OpenLayers and Google Maps as background, the image is not perfectly located, as it is misplaced about 90-100 meters LEFT where it should be in the British National Grid projection.

My question is whether gdalwarp does not the right transformation and/or OpenLayers does its best and does not adjust it, or it is definitely impossible to transform 27700 into 3857 accurately.

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    Which GDAL version? Do you use some open data image from Ordnance Survey so others can make a try with the same image? Do you know that using gdalwarp is not necessary because GeoServer can reproject on-the-fly from EPSG:27700? That is actually a good test. Make another WMS layer from the original image and see if original and reprojected versions are placed into same place in your OpenLayers application.
    – user30184
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 16:53
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    Maybe a duplicate of gis.stackexchange.com/questions/40461/…. Older versions of GDAL may contain an outdated datum shift parameterset.
    – AndreJ
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 17:10
  • GDAL 1.10.1. I have tried not to use gdalwarp and use the geoserver reprojection on-the-fly from epsg:27700 and the result is the same as before, which makes me happy partially as now I know that gdalwarp and geoserver reproject in the same way. Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


It did work but using EPSG:102113 instead, not EPSG:3857.

This post helped me a lot:

Reprojecting WGS 1984 Web Mercator (EPSG:3857) in Python with GDAL

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