I am running QGIS 1.7.0 on windows, and I donwloaded a shapefile of census block group boundaries from TIGER. This file appears to be in the WGS 84 coordinate system, and when I open it in QGIS the unit of measure is degrees.
I tried re-projecting the file into the NAD 83 coordinate system, and saving it as a new shapefile, but when I open the new file it still displays a ruler in degrees. If I try to make a buffer, it interprets buffer distance as degrees.
Assuming I'm starting with a shapefile from TIGER, what's the best way to convert my unit of measure from degrees to meters?
For posterity, it seems like the following workflow make sense when dealing with US census TIGER shapefiles:
- Download the relevant shapefile
- Open it in QGIS
- Click the
Settingsmenu and select
- Select a projected coordinate system, like NAD83 / UTM zone 19N
- Click the box
Enable 'on the fly' CRS transformation
- Click ok
- Click the 'zoom full' button (one of the magnifying glasses)