I managed to import a csv file containing lines in QGIS but unfortunately the x y aren't in the correct order. that is, the csv has a field where there is a sequence of lat (y), lon (x), while qgis apparently wants x,y. I become aware of this problem because my lines are plotted in a place which isn't my area under study. What can I do?

3;2;"LINESTRING(46.155628 13.17198, 46.155283 13.172648)";Ippovia Cormor in Comune di Tricesimo;qua1;1

(That should be somewhere in italy)

  • Where do you see it? Near Yemen or near Nigeria?
    – JGH
    Feb 20, 2019 at 17:14
  • Yes its in Yemen
    – Geo_it
    Feb 20, 2019 at 17:27
  • 2
    Accept one of the answers if he helped you with your question ... Mar 8, 2019 at 18:19

3 Answers 3


Since you have successfully imported data, use the tool presented in the figure. QGIS 3.4

enter image description here


You can create a virtual layer that swaps the X-Y coordinates.

Go to the menu Layer / add layer / add-edit virtual layer.

Using true field and layer name, type a new query similar to:

select myID, myfieldABC, SwapCoordinates(geometry)
from a;

You can then either export this new layer to another format, or use it directly


Not a neat solution, but try:

  1. Load the CSV file as a plain text table;
  2. Use regex to rewrite the linestrings;
  3. Save the CSV file again, then load it as a vector layer using the corrected geometry.

The function (field calculator) to find pairs of coordinates and swap them in the linestrings would be:

 regexp_replace( geometry, '(\\d+\\.\\d+) (\\d+\\.\\d+)', '\\2 \\1' )

You could use this to alter the geometry column in place ('update existing field'), or create a new field which you use when importing later.

In fact, you can find the CSV file in the QGIS browser and double-click to add it - it will load as a non-spatial table. Then use the field calculator to create a new text field wkt with the function above, then save your edits. If you double-click the file in the browser it will now load the new geometry from the wkt field.

  • unfortunately the number of coordinates inside the string is variable. Here it's two, in other records it's 3,4,5, ect. Thank you.
    – Geo_it
    Feb 20, 2019 at 19:30
  • @Geo_it - Did you try it? The regex I provide works for any number of coordinate pairs, as long as they're decimals separated by a space (i.e. normal WKT).
    – Simbamangu
    Feb 21, 2019 at 7:11

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