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DMS - Degrees Minutes Seconds

Buffer tool only shows degrees as the distance unit (not meter or kilometer)

  1. Do I need to convert DMS points to Decimal Degrees to use metric distance units for Buffer?

  2. Is there a plug-in that automatically converts DMS to DD in QGIS?

Or is

  • Solved: used UTM 51N CRS – BallpenMan Feb 22 '20 at 1:52
  • Isn't that exactly what I suggested in my answer? – Ben W Feb 24 '20 at 4:34

Decimal degrees will still use geographic degrees as the distance unit in the Buffer processing algorithm.

You can either reproject your layer to a projected coordinate system by right clicking the layer and selecting export --> save features as --> and save it to a vector format such as geopackage or shapefile and select a projected CRS appropriate for your zone (e.g. EPSG: 32651). The buffer tool will then use meters as distance unit.

Or, a much quicker and in my opinion, better way would be to create a buffer using a virtual layer.

Go to Layer --> Add layer --> Add/edit virtual layer and use something like this as your query.

select st_buffer(st_transform(geometry, 32651), 100) from Calapan_XYpoints

Just change the 100 argument to your required buffer distance in meters

  • Got that. Thank you! – BallpenMan Feb 21 '20 at 11:34
  • @BallpenMan, did you try the virtual layer approach using st_transform with the query I suggested? It negates the need to save and reproject your csv. It will work directly with your delimited text layer in epsg: 4326. – Ben W Feb 21 '20 at 23:42

This happens when you´re using Geographic coordinates (regardless to the format: DMS or DD). To solve that, you can: A - reproject you point Layer to an Projected CRS through the Reproject layer tool available in processing toolbox or B - you can export / save as your point layer to a new shapefile with a projected CRS.

Note: If you use an UTM Projection, you will be able to perform the buffer specifying distance in meters. Make sure you specify the right zone.

  • Really helpful. Thanks! – BallpenMan Feb 21 '20 at 11:34

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