The shapefiles I was sent did not contain a .prj file, and instead came with these .xml files that seem to be the equivalent of the projection file. QGis does not seem to 'read' these XML files when I import the associated shapefiles, and results in the imported polygons being totally out of place and out of scale.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
        <name>Universal Transverse Mercator - Zone 51 (N)</name>
        <datum>World Geodetic 1984 (WGS84)</datum>
        <system>Transverse Mercator</system>

1 Answer 1


You could manually create your own PRJ file using a text editor, all the information you need is there. Just use any existing PRJ as a template.

Alternatively, open the shapefile in QGIS, assign the correct projection (right click, properties, general), then save/export as a new shapefile, being sure to select the correct CRS when you do this.

  • 1
    you can look it up on epsg.io or spatialreference.org and download the .prj file
    – Ian Turton
    Feb 13, 2017 at 9:13
  • Is there a way to import this as a custom CRS in QGIS? I'm not quite sure how to write down the other variables in the .prj such as scalex and y.
    – Bobby Kew
    Feb 13, 2017 at 10:04
  • No need, it is a standard CRS already loaded in QGIS (and every other GIS software ever, I would imagine). ESPG: 32651
    – Matt
    Feb 13, 2017 at 10:12
  • Also, you won't need to include everything in the XML file in the PRJ, just fill in whatever was there in the template PRJ you are using
    – Matt
    Feb 13, 2017 at 10:13

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