A geologist has given me a bunch of points to plot on a map I'm doing in WGS84. Her points are in NAD83, and she says they're in "zone 8." Here is one of the points.

440244 7599457

She says the points in question are in the Richardson Mountains, up in northwest Canada, but I'm having a lot of trouble getting them to plot to that location when I use http://tool-online.com/en/coordinate-converter.php to convert to WGS84 -- they keep ending up on the east coast of Canada.

I then tried QGIS, only to realize that the software only appears to include zones like "8N" by default, with no default UTM NAD83 zone of just "8." I asked her via email whether her points were in zone 8N -- which seems to plot much closer to where the points are supposed to be -- and she said they were not.

Since she's doing me a favor just getting me this data, I don't want to bug her too much with back-and-forth emails unless it's absolutely necessary.

Can someone get these to plot correctly on either a Fusion Tables map or OSM map in QGIS, giving me step-by-step instructions on how you did it?

  • I got 68.50122386, -136.46118269 from the example point and online calculator you posted, so I would triple-check the projections you're using in that online calculator. Using UTM Zone 8N (zone 8 in the northern hemisphere) in QGIS should put them in the correct location. – Erica Oct 4 '14 at 20:02

I used the data you posted and either in the online converter and Qgis and the point you provide is near Richardson Mountains. In Qgis I reprojected your data from EPSG 26908 to EPSG 4326 and I get

68.50121961467 N -136.461671545174W

Using the online converter I get:

68.50122386 N -136.46118269 W

They are almost the same. This is what I did

a) I made a CSV file in excel with names for the columns in the first line (east, north, name)

b) I loaded the data in to Qgis with the add delimited text layer option

c) When asked about which CRS is my data I chose 26908 (NAD83 / UTM zone 8N)

d) With my data as a layer I chose it in the table of contents and selected save as

e) In the CRS section I chose 4326 (lat lon wgs84)

This is where the point you provide lies

enter image description here

With save as you can also produce a klm file that you can use over Google Earth. The above image is a your point over google earth

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  • Many thanks. So is 8N functionally the same as "zone 8" ? She seems to think there's a "pure" version of a "zone 8" without the "N." I'll definitely mark your answer as the best one unless a superman of explanatory powers shows up, but I'm very curious about whether there's an existing thread or piece of documentation floating around that will allow me to politely and gently correct my helpful source on this point. – Patrick Oct 5 '14 at 0:28
  • UTM 8N is the UTM zone 8 above the equator, and 8S the part south of it. I am pretty sure Canada belongs to the North ;-) Just to confuse users, there are also UTM-Subzones with letters A-Z, but they don't count inside QGIS. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… for more explanation on that. – AndreJ Oct 5 '14 at 7:16
  • Thanks to all three of you who helped answer this, I think I now have enough to convince the geologist that we're doing this right. I really appreciate it! – Patrick Oct 5 '14 at 17:56
  • The UTM Coordinate system has UTM zone identifiers. Your point lies on UTM zone 8W. This nomenclature is not used in GIS. UTM coordinate system has two flase origins for the North coordinate. If something is above the equator the false origin is 0 meters. For something south the equator false origin is 10,000,000 meters. UTM CRS in GIS applications usually only care about if something is north or south of the equator. Also bear in mind that you are using a datum that is intended to be used in North Aamerica, so you will have just a NAD83 UTM zone 8N and not a 8S based on the same datum. – Gerardo Jimenez Oct 6 '14 at 1:12

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