I'm having a bit of a nightmare plotting some GPS coordinates in QGIS. My coordinates came from a PDF so it took a little wrangling to extract the from the PDF and convert them to a CSV file. I've done this now, and have ended up with a CSV containing the coordinates in DMS format. When I attempt to plot in QGIS (add delimited layer, using DMS option) they are plotted way off from their true locations. Is it possible that the coordinates were captured in a different projection to that which they are initially plotted in QGIS (WGS84)?

Or perhaps the coordinates were just incorrect in the first place. For example, If I copy and paste Northing and Eastings into Google Maps the resulting point is about 1000 miles away from where I would expect it to be.

Anyone have any experience of importing GPS coordinates into QGIS with similar results?

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    Have you tried manually setting your Project CRS to one relative to the region/country of your coordinates?
    – Joseph
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 12:57
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    Yes, it is very possible that the coordinates were not WGS84. The distance of 1000 miles very much suggests a different coordinate system to WGS. Can you state the locations of where the coordinates are supposed to be from and then give us some example coordinates from the GPS file. It will give us a little more to go on when suggesting where the error lies. Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


GPS is per definition always WGS84 EPSG:4326, so this should be ok.

A most popular error ist to exchange lat and lon values, or forgetting negative signs for West and South degrees.

And: Most GPS coordinates end up off the coast of Nigeria, because people have preset a projected coordinate system like EPSG:3857 for the project, not considering that the GPS layer is not in a projected CRS.

  • Thanks to everyone for quick responses. Andre correctly identified that I was indeed missing a '-' from Lon coordinates! Now looking good. Thanks
    – marty_c
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 16:48

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