I'd like to import Coordinates from an Excel list, for this reason I saved the excel sheet as an .csv ant tried to import it via "Layer --> Add delimited text Layer". The points are imported, but with the wrong Coordinates. They are very far away from the right location. They should be in Germany, but they are in the Sea near Africa.

In the table of attributes and in the import dialogue the coordinates are displayed correctly.

I tried:

  • to exchange Longitude and Latitude.

  • Save the csv in utf8 (and choose utf8 in the QGIS dialogue)

  • format the Coordinates in Excel as a Number

Does anybody know what can be wrong?

(in the other question it is only asked how it works not, how to solve my problem)

  • 2
    Quick guess - are you using the correct projection? Jun 7, 2016 at 10:32
  • "In the Sea near Africa" sound like your imported dataset has very small coordinates (50°N) in respect to the map behind it (which might be in Meters, so 50m from (0°|0°)). Where do you get your background map from, i.e. how do you know your points are near Africa?
    – LuWi
    Jun 7, 2016 at 10:37
  • My "background map" is self layouted by shapefiles from geofabrik. I loaded a background map from OSM MapQuest for checking where the points are. my projection in both cases is the same (WGS 84 / UTM 32N)
    – Riker
    Jun 7, 2016 at 10:50
  • It's confusing. I did change the coordinate System of the import to WGS 84 (EPSG:4326) and it worked, but when I change it to WGS84 / UTM zone 32N (EPSG:32632) the points are again not in Germany.
    – Riker
    Jun 7, 2016 at 11:11
  • It isn't really that surprising. UTM coordinates are in meters, lat/lon is indegrees. So where would you expect something that is 50m away from the equator instead of 50 degrees to appear? Jun 7, 2016 at 12:47

2 Answers 2


You should NOT change the coordinate system of a layer with Set Layer CRS. As you have experienced, it corrupts the data. 50 meters become 50 degrees, which you most probably don't intent.

Instead, use Save As ... to a different filename and CRS. Then, all coordinates get reprojected, but the point is still on the same spot on Earth.


WGS 84 is not a projection. It is just a coordinate reference for the ellipsoid shape of the earth. The next step is to choose a projection for Cartesian representation. WGS 84 UTM 32N is a projection.(Using UTM) There lies the discrepancy.

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