Is there a south-up setting for a projection in QGIS?

3 Answers 3


You can rotate your map (without projection requirements) :

  • In the canvas, use the field "Rotation" at the bottom of the main window : enter image description here

  • In composer, use the "Map rotation" field of the main properties of your map :

enter image description here

  • Will labels be upside down if I do this? Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 10:30
  • 1
    For any vector layers, labels will be good. For image raster (OpenStreetMap), I think labels will be revesed. I can't test today but you can test easily.
    – Pierma
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 1:39

If you set the project CRS to a south-up projection like EPSG:22281 Cape / Lo21, you will get a map with the South pole upwards:

enter image description here

Note that common raster basemaps like Openstreetmap will have labels upside down as well with this projection, whereas labels of your vector data will appear in a readable orientation.


You can define a south-up CRS with +axis=wsu. That indicates X is west, Y is south, Z is up.

It doesn't save that in the prj file though. When you load a layer with this projection, you have to set the CRS in the layer properties. Other than that it works properly.

  • QGIS saves AXIS["Y",WEST],AXIS["X",SOUTH] in the .qpj file. So good as long as you work with QGIS, bad if you work on in GDAL or Arcgis (they don't read the .qpj file). The Cape Lo projection has PROJECTION["Transverse_Mercator_South_Orientated"] in the .prj file, which seems to work correctly.
    – AndreJ
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 5:46

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