First off, I am new to GIS. I am using qgis (1.8.0), and have been given a shapefile containing .shp, .prj, .shx, .dbf, however qgis will not load the .prj file stating an invalid data source. Altering the project properties>CRS to WGS84 Epsg:4326 gives correct latitude for the project but incorrect longitude.

The .prj file reads:


1 Answer 1


The shapefile format consists of several (at least 3) computer files. To load a shapefile into QGIS you point to only the *.shp. The others are read automatically. QGIS does use the *.prj to determine the coordinate system of the data. From the *.prj you quoted above it seems to be in the coordinate reference system EPSG:27700. Here's the spatialreference.og link to a descriptiojn of that CRS.

Now you should be able to enable "On-the-Fly" reprojection and show this layer in any CRS you choose, such as 4326, as you already did. Why do you think the longitude is wrong?

  • And what if the others (i.e. .prj) are not read automatically? I am uploading a shapefile and QGIS is putting it somewhere random in the world (Africa instead of North America). (no warning about invalid data source) Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 18:17
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    I suggest you ask a new question. The details in your comment are not clear. What do you mean "uploading a shapefile"? How do you know that the shapefile appears in Africa? What are the contents of the *.prj file. Please post a question with full details: what you did, what you expected and what results you got.
    – Micha
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 9:19

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