Is there an easy way of transforming Shapely objects (namely, Polygons and MultiPolygons) from one projection to another without having to dig around and extract coordinates by hand?

In fact, I don't even care if they are Shapely objects at this point, I just want to pass features and a projection, and get a reprojected set of features back.

Does this sort of functionality exist, or must it be hand coded?

  • 2
    I believe that's out of the scope of Shapely, you may want to look into Fiona. fiona.transform looks to have what you need. Dec 22, 2014 at 21:51

3 Answers 3


While shapely doesn't natively understand coordinate systems, shapely.ops.transform() can do that along with pyproj. If pyproj.Proj can understand your both of your coordinate systems, then it can be made into a function that shapely can transform with.

From the shapely docs:

pyproj >= 2.1.0

import pyproj

from shapely.geometry import Point
from shapely.ops import transform

wgs84_pt = Point(-72.2495, 43.886)

wgs84 = pyproj.CRS('EPSG:4326')
utm = pyproj.CRS('EPSG:32618')

project = pyproj.Transformer.from_crs(wgs84, utm, always_xy=True).transform
utm_point = transform(project, wgs84_pt)

pyproj < 2.1

from functools import partial
import pyproj
from shapely.ops import transform

project = partial(
    pyproj.Proj(init='epsg:4326'), # source coordinate system
    pyproj.Proj(init='epsg:26913')) # destination coordinate system

g2 = transform(project, g1)  # apply projection
  • 6
    If you do not want to use the itertools module you can do project = lambda x, y: pyproj.transform(pyproj.Proj(init='epsg:4326'), pyproj.Proj(init='epsg:26913'), x, y) and then g2 = transform(project, g1).
    – Elmex80s
    Jan 24, 2018 at 13:15
  • 2
    This suggested answer is for pyproj1 whereas there is now a preferred transformation for pyproj2 using Transformer. See here: pyproj4.github.io/pyproj/stable/gotchas.html Jul 9, 2019 at 14:59
  • 1
    I found Nick O'Dell's answer below (gis.stackexchange.com/a/328642) to be much faster. Dec 27, 2019 at 4:21
  • Checking my knowledge: wgs84_pt describes the coordinates 72.2495W (longitude) and 43.886N due to the always_xy=True. For always_xy=False lat/lon would need to be swapped when constructing the initial point. Is this correct?
    – Dave
    Mar 8, 2021 at 20:47

If you're using pyproj2, it's much easier to use a Transformer. Here's an example:

import pyproj
from shapely.ops import transform

project = pyproj.Transformer.from_proj(
    pyproj.Proj(init='epsg:4326'), # source coordinate system
    pyproj.Proj(init='epsg:26913')) # destination coordinate system

# g1 is a shapley Polygon

g2 = transform(project.transform, g1)  # apply projection

This is also much faster, becase pyproj does not need to recreate the projection for every point.


While not a Shapely solution, using GeoPandas allows for relatively straightforward projection. For example, if we want to convert a shapefile to ESPG 4326:

import geopandas as gpd

HabModelEnviro = gpd.GeoDataFrame.from_file('data/HabModelEnviro.shp').replace({-999: None})

HabModelEnviroWGS84 = HabModelEnviro.to_crs({'proj':'longlat', 'ellps':'WGS84', 'datum':'WGS84'})
  • 8
    Geopandas uses Shapely (look at geodataframe.py for example)
    – gene
    Dec 23, 2014 at 16:34

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