I'm trying to open a shapefile in Gauss–Krüger coordinate system, which comes without any .prj-files, in QGIS. These files are not really up to date but they're the only data i can get.

Is it possible to project them on any world map in the right position by using the "OpenLayersPlugin"?

The other part of the data is more updatet so its CRS is ETRS 89 / UTM 32N. Is there a way to project both on the same map for the same time?

When I insert the Gauss–Krüger data into QGIS, it says that the CRS of the Gauss–Krüger data is undefined and preset to EPSG:4326. What does that mean?

So I need a way to show both, old and new data, beside each other on the right position in the map (Google Satellite from OpenLayersPlugin).

  • 2
    You must know the correct coordinate system, QGIS can't guess it for you. If you did not get .prj file that defines the projection read the documentation about your data set or ask from the data provider.
    – user30184
    Aug 16, 2018 at 10:50
  • The CRS of the shapefile must be UTM 32 because its location is in Germany... But there is no differnce, even when I reproject the shapefile to the right CRS
    – Ma Fo
    Aug 16, 2018 at 11:40
  • 1
    There are several Gauss-Krüger zones in Germany, see de.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. You have to choose the right one to assign it to your layer. Once it is placed in the right spot, you can reproject it to UTM.
    – AndreJ
    Aug 16, 2018 at 17:07

3 Answers 3


As DirkB already pointed out, you need to use the Assign projection tool from the Processing Toolbox. Do this for both of your shapefiles, then they should display correctly. knutella already hinted at the possibility to change your map's projection, so adjust this to fit your needs.

Aside this, I personally recommend to scratch OpenLayersPlugin and use QuickMapServices instead, with which I had fewer issues when it came to projections and printing maps. You can also enable additional providers (per default, many of the good ones are disabled) by going to:

Web --> QuickMapServices --> Settings

then click on the More Services tab and click Get contributed pack. Save, exit, have fun with it.

enter image description here


You got many different tools to accomplish this task.

You should find a way with the tools from processing if you search for "proj"enter image description here

  • If you dont have a .prj file with your shapefile then you're using Assign projection
  • If you've got a .prj file then better use Reproject layer

In both cases you need to know what your needed CRS / EPSG code must be.

  • 2
    Reproject layer would not place the shapes to another place on the Earth, while Assign projection does. So I suggest to assign.
    – AndreJ
    Aug 16, 2018 at 11:03

You can try to reproject your whole project with the QGIS-button in the bottom-right: enter image description here

or just reproject your shapefile-layer to the crs used by gmaps wms.

This done via right-click on the shape-layer -> "Properties..." -> "Source"-tab:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Changing the project CRS does not alter the location of the shapefile's data. Changing the layers CRS is not reprojecting, and you still have to know what CRS your data is in. Not necessarily that of the wms.
    – AndreJ
    Aug 16, 2018 at 11:05

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