I created a polygon shapefile in QGIS. Projection was saved as EPSG: 3857, WGS 84 / Pseudo Mercator.

When I open this shapefile in ArcMap the projection sets itself as WGS_84_World_Mercator which I believe is also EPSG: 3857.

The issue is my polygons are several hundred metres to the north of where they should be when overlaid on the OpenStreetMap base map.

Does anyone know of this projection issue and the link this has to taking files created in QGIS and bringing them into ArcMap?


2 Answers 2


The EPSG: 3857, WGS 84 / Pseudo Mercator in QGIS is called WGS84 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere) in ArcGIS. You are simply not using the right projection.

  • 1
    QGIS uses GDAL/PROJ.4 for coordinate system support. PROJ.4 uses regular Mercator projection (ellipsoid-based) with a sphere definition to emulate EPSG:3857. The prj being written out by QGIS (GDAL) has a regular WGS84 GCS and Mercator as the map projection. The "sphere" definition is in an EXTENSION or PARAMETER or similar keyword which isn't read by ArcGIS.
    – mkennedy
    Jul 27, 2015 at 20:05

I set the data frame projection to WGS84 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere) as suggested by Nahas and this didn't change the end result. However looking at the previous thread supplied by Vince (QPJ files on ESRI software) the answer at the bottom suggested deleting the prj. and .qpjs files then bringing the data in. I did this, assigned projection to WGS84 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere), hey presto my data is where I need it to be.

I had to do this for several shapefiles so batch deleted the projection files (both types) and then batch assigned the projection in ArcMap.

May not be the cleanest way to do things, but pleased with the result!

thanks to all that responded

  • I will, I have to wait until tomorrow. Perhaps I need to sleep on it ;-)
    – Chris Carr
    Jul 28, 2015 at 15:27

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