I am attempting to add a feature with defined geometry as a layer. Having added the feature I checked on the dimensions of its sides and they measure differently.

This is the code that I am using.

x = [0,0,-5000,-5000,0,0]
y = [0,-1000,-1000,1000,1000,0]

vl = QgsVectorLayer("MultiLineString?crs=epsg:7405", "temp", "memory")
pr = vl.dataProvider()
pr.addAttributes([QgsField("name", QVariant.String)])

PointList = []
for i in range(len(x)):
    p = QgsPointXY(x[i],y[i])

f = QgsFeature()

The lines do not measure as 2000m and 5000m, but as 1997m and 4992m (although opposite sides do not measure the same).

I wonder if it is to do with the CRS or the measure tool? I think that I am missing something fundamental here.


QGIS 3 uses ellipsoid length calculations by default whereas in previous versions, this was ignored and instead planimetric distance calculations were used. If you measure the lines using the expression:


You should get the values you were looking for (5000m and 2000m):

Field calculator

Before you use your code, set your project ellipsoid measurement to None / Planimetric and then run your code again. You can set this from the menubar:

Project > Properties > General > Measurements

Project properties

You could just use the expression


And you should get the same values as mentioned above (5000m and 2000m).


A very though answer from Joseph clarifying how QGiS makes measurements However, the question is now clearer to me and it is:

How can I place the shape of defined dimensions (in metres, 5000m X 2000m) measured on the WGS84 ellipsoid at a location on the ellipsoid (51 degrees N 2 degrees W)?

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