I got shape files in WGS84 and need to project it to British_National_Grid (27700) I used QGIS to save them as a new shp file with ESPG:27700

Throwing the shape files into ArcMap with the Data frame Coordinate System set to British_National_Grid WKID: 27700 Authority: EPSG

When I try to edit the shape files I get a warning that the data is in a different coordinate system than the dataframe.

I was expecting both to be in 27700? Do they use different transformation paramenters to do the transformation which ArcMap catch or why do I get this warning?

  • 3
    Projections in shapefiles are defined by the Well Known Text that is stored into the .prj file. ESRI is using a bit different dialect and QGIS may not understand that both .prj files mean the same. You can make a test by renaming your .prj from QGIS and using that instead of the one from ESRI. Add also the contents of both .prj files into your question.
    – user30184
    Jun 28, 2017 at 12:02
  • You are right, that made it work properly. Thanks!
    – geogrow
    Jun 28, 2017 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


For most of the world EPSG:27700 is defined as:

PROJCS["OSGB 1936 / British National Grid",GEOGCS["OSGB 1936",DATUM["OSGB_1936",SPHEROID["Airy 1830",6377563.396,299.3249646,AUTHORITY["EPSG","7001"]],TOWGS84[446.448,-125.157,542.06,0.15,0.247,0.842,-20.489],AUTHORITY["EPSG","6277"]],PRIMEM["Greenwich",0,AUTHORITY["EPSG","8901"]],UNIT["degree",0.0174532925199433,AUTHORITY["EPSG","9122"]],AUTHORITY["EPSG","4277"]],PROJECTION["Transverse_Mercator"],PARAMETER["latitude_of_origin",49],PARAMETER["central_meridian",-2],PARAMETER["scale_factor",0.9996012717],PARAMETER["false_easting",400000],PARAMETER["false_northing",-100000],UNIT["metre",1,AUTHORITY["EPSG","9001"]],AXIS["Easting",EAST],AXIS["Northing",NORTH],AUTHORITY["EPSG","27700"]]

while for ESRI it is defined as:

PROJCS["OSGB_1936_British_National_Grid",GEOGCS["GCS_OSGB 1936",DATUM["D_OSGB_1936",SPHEROID["Airy_1830",6377563.396,299.3249646]],PRIMEM["Greenwich",0],UNIT["Degree",0.017453292519943295]],PROJECTION["Transverse_Mercator"],PARAMETER["latitude_of_origin",49],PARAMETER["central_meridian",-2],PARAMETER["scale_factor",0.9996012717],PARAMETER["false_easting",400000],PARAMETER["false_northing",-100000],UNIT["Meter",1]]

Copy the second one into your shapefile's .prj file to make ESRI recognise it.

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