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I have downloaded NCAR Community Climate System Model (CCSM) projections in shapefile format and want to look up maximum temperature. When I open it in QGIS having OSM as base map, it is shown as one point only (0,0) coordinates. When I open the attribute table, it looks normal and has lat and long as well. I have tried re/project the layer in the same projection as OSM basemap, but the reprojected one is still shown as that one dot.

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There are two possible issues here.

Possible issue number one: The shapefile has the wrong CRS.

You can test for this issue by right-clicking on the layer name in the Layer Panel, and choosing "Zoom to layer." If the layer expands into many different points, but they're just way too close together, then you have this issue.

Solution:

  1. Figure out what projection this layer is supposed to have. This information should be documented somewhere, for example:

    • Look in the file you downloaded and see if there's a file called "README" or "METADATA. It might have a .txt or .xml file extension.
    • Go back to the website where you downloaded the data and look for documentation.
  2. Change the projection of the layer to its correct projection by opening the CRS tab in the Layer Properties window and selecting the correct CRS (as determined in step 1).

Possible issue number two: The geometry is not correctly stored in the shapefile.

Normally there wouldn't be a solution for this issue. But in this case, the attribute table has latitude and longitude in it. Assuming those lat/long values represent the correct location of each point, you can use them to recreate the point geometry. Of course if the lat/long in the attribute table are not actually the correct lat/long for each point, this solution will give you the wrong data.

Solution:

  1. Make a copy of the DBF file (the portion of the shapefile that has the file extension .dbf).
  2. Open it in a spreadsheet-editing program such as Microsoft Excel, and save it in CSV format.
  3. Import the CSV file into QGIS through the "add delimited text layer" method. You can access this method through the Layer menu or from the button on the Layer toolbar that looks like a comma.
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You could make a Right click ->Layer properties->Information screenshot of the layer. Lat/Long does not sound like a projected layer.

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