I was looking for a shapefile for watersheds in Ethiopia and I found the following data set


I can open it up in a new project shapefile, but QGIS assumes that it is WGS 84, and I can view it.

Image of watersheds

However, I can't work out what the real-CRS is, and I want to overlay it with other data sets whose CRS I do know. Is there a way to work out what the CRS is, so I can transform it to a CRS that is aligned with my other shapefiles?

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    May you will find this thread gis.stackexchange.com/questions/190115/… useful
    – Taras
    Sep 22, 2020 at 9:41
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    Agree it's not a decimal degree based CRS,as ogrinfo -so eth_watshed.shp eth_watshed gives extent of Extent: (-161882.562500, 376388.125000) - (1495282.875000, 1645935.625000)
    – nmtoken
    Sep 22, 2020 at 9:48
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    It's definitely a m-based CRS, so you have to go through all possible candidates. Check for country based CRS and viable UTM-strips.
    – Erik
    Sep 22, 2020 at 9:49
  • Most likely one of EPSG::20136, EPSG::20137, EPSG::20138, EPSG::32636, EPSG::32637, EPSG::32638
    – nmtoken
    Sep 22, 2020 at 10:02
  • One last question - it would seem that it is either EPSG::20137 (Adinan UTM 37N) and EPSG::32637 (WGS / UTM 37N). How can I tell the dfference between them? What I see is that the Adinan seems to have limits on its latitude extents E Extent: 36.00, 3.40, 42.00, 22.01 Proj4: +proj=utm +zone=37 +ellps=clrk80 +towgs84=-166,-15,204,0,0,0,0 +units=m +no_defs" Whereas the WGS 84 / UTM 34 seems to extend much further north. Extent: 36.00, 0.00, 42.00, 84.00 Proj4: +proj=utm +zone=37 +datum=WGS84 +units=m +no_defs Sep 22, 2020 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


I just Googled "Coorindate Reference System for Ethiopia" and the top result was EPSG:20137 - Adindan / UTM zone 37N.

I set the CRS to that and stuck it into QGIS and it looks pretty good: enter image description here

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    Thanks. It looks like that's it. I'm trying to press the green tick but it doesn't seem to work. Let me try again, as it seems to be the right answer Sep 22, 2020 at 9:58

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