I have a shapefile that I have imported into PostgreSQL using the PostGIS Shapefile Importer and it is currently projected in a State Plane Coordinate System. When I imported it, I selected an import SRID of 4326 (WGS84). Afterwards when I was trying to manipulate, I was getting some odd results because of the fact that my information was still seemingly in a projected coordinate system.

Does the Shapefile Importer not re-project when you assign the SRID while importing?

  • 2
    you need to set your srid to your state plane CS then use the st_transform function to convert to WGS84 on your geometry column
    – ziggy
    Oct 5, 2016 at 19:53
  • 3
    No, the importer does not reproject. The SRID option isn't a "make is this" option it's a "this is what it is" option. You're telling the importer what the SRID original data is, to the best of your knowledge. The importer currently lacks the ability to read SRID information from the input files, even where it exists (which it often doesn't), so we need the user to tell us what it is. Oct 6, 2016 at 13:31

3 Answers 3


you can do a few things

  1. set your srid to your state plane CS then use the st_transform function to convert to WGS84 on your geometry during whatever calculation you are performing -this will only reporject or transform the SRID on the query manipulation you are performing, it will not change the underlining SRID for the original table

    st_transform(ST_SetSRID(geom,'state plane CS'),4326)
  2. change your underlining SRID before you perform the calculations

    SELECT UpdateGeometrySRID('table name','geom',4326);
    ALTER TABLE 'table name'
    ALTER COLUMN geom 
    TYPE Geometry(point/line..?, 4326) 
    USING ST_Transform(geom, 4326);
    Update 'table name' set geom= st_transform(geom,4326);
    select st_srid(geom) from 'table name';

A better tool you might try out is the QGIS DB Manager import tool, which gives you the option to re-project on import.

Once you've connected to your databse, you can browse to your shapefile, name the table and schema, then:

Set your "Source SRID" to the State Plane SRID and the "Target SRID" to 4326

Your data will then be re-projected on import to your PostGIS database.


Depends on whether you use shp2pgsql or shp2pgsql-gui.

If you use shp2pgsql from the command line, the option -s source_srid:to_srid should reproject for you, just plug in your state plane epsg code and 4326, separated by a colon. From the man shp2pgsql page on linux...

   Creates  and  populates  the  geometry tables with the specified
   SRID.  If FROM_SRID is given,  the  geometries  will  be  repro‐
   jected.  Reprojection cannot be used with -D.

I don't think the gui version lets you do that, it just lets you set the srid value which is assigned to the geometries which are imported.

Not tried this myself though, I usually use the technique in the answer by @ziggy as I use shp2pgsql-gui.

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