I am unable to convert from the project's coordinate system to a different one using QGIS 1.8.0.

I have a .shp file with a certain coordinate system information (WGS84 EPSG:4326 according to QGIS ). I wish to convert this to WGS84/UTM 32U. Now, WGS84/UTM 32N but not [...] 32U exists in the KBS list if I use [...]32 N it does not change anything.

If I compare the coordinates in my project in WGS84 with that from 2 different webmap applications in WGS84/UTM 32U there are these following difference:
3607000 E / 5738000 N in the .shp and 607000 E / 5738000 N in the .shp in the web application with an seemingly difference of ~100m west and a ~2000m north shift of the .shp.

Does someone have an idea what the problem might be? Can I download more Coordinate systems (i.e. WGS84/UTM 32U) for QGIS somewhere?

  • 1
    UTM 32U is just one tile of the UTM 32N zone, so conversion to UTM 32N ought to have worked. This suggests the problem may be related to positioning errors in the shapefile or in the web maps to which it is being compared.
    – whuber
    Jul 24, 2012 at 15:52
  • 1
    "3607000 E / 5738000 N in the .shp" This is a very large easting for UTM. Was this a typo?
    – nhopton
    Jul 25, 2012 at 8:26
  • Thank you for your reply. @ whuber In which case I believe it to be a mistake in the .shp as the webmap info is taken from googleearth and a governmental one. @ nhopton: I don't think so. That is what I tried to explain. If i deleted the 3 in the 3607000 E, then I would have the misplacement as described above.
    – Tobias
    Jul 26, 2012 at 9:37

3 Answers 3


Tobias; The "U" represents a 'latitude band' - the N represents *N*orth (of the equator) so 32U is in 32N. If your shift is as large as you say, the issue must be something else...


Using cs2cs, I get the following WGS84-coordinates from your 32U-coordiantes given above:

6d58'51.127"E 51d46'31.873"N 0.000

10d33'4.18"E 51d46'57.46"N 0.000


I have been able to track the problem. I did not have a .prj file for my .shp. Hence, any conversion has to be a pitfall, as the starting position is lacking (like extrapolating from a single point). After a bit of an effort I found out the .shp was in WGS84 Gauss-Krüger Coordinates.

In ArcGis 10.x I was able to define that and then transform into UTM 32U. I have not done it with qgis yet. If I do and succeed I will post for future passer-bys.

Regards Toby

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