Updated to QGIS 3.16 recently, when I try to reproject from the datafiles CRS EPSG:4326 - WG 84 to EPSG:32718 - WG84/UTM zone 18S I get this error

ERROR 1: PROJ: proj_create_from_database: Cannot find proj.db

ERROR 1: Translating source or target SRS failed:


I am using macOS and I updated to by downloading software from the website https://qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html - the latest release

I have located the proj.db in my computer C:/Users/anaconda3/envs/gsa_sm2019/share/proj/proj.db and tried to change the setting environment.

I tried

import os os.environ['PROJ_LIB'] = 'C:/Users/anaconda3/envs/gsa_sm2019/share/proj' os.environ['GDAL_DATA'] = 'C:/Users/anaconda3/envs/gsa_sm2019/share' import gdal

Reprojected again, this is the new error received:

ERROR 1: PROJ: proj_create_from_database: cannot build geodeticCRS 4326: SQLite error on SELECT name, ellipsoid_auth_name, ellipsoid_code, prime_meridian_auth_name, prime_meridian_code, area_of_use_auth_name, area_of_use_code, publication_date, deprecated FROM geodetic_datum WHERE auth_name = ? AND code = ?: no such column: publication_date ERROR 1: Translating source or target SRS failed: EPSG:4326

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    – Ian Turton
    Nov 5, 2020 at 16:04
  • What operating system are you using? how did you update to 3.16?
    – Ian Turton
    Nov 5, 2020 at 16:05
  • I am using macOS and I updated to by downloading software from the website qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html - the latest release Nov 5, 2020 at 16:14
  • please use the edit link to update your question with this information
    – Ian Turton
    Nov 5, 2020 at 16:15
  • I've updated the question with the info now - thanks Nov 5, 2020 at 16:16

2 Answers 2


I believe PROJ_LIB should be set to the directory where proj.db lives, not the file itself.

  • Thanks for the help - I did this and it got a different error (see above) Nov 6, 2020 at 15:26
  • Is your proj.db from the same version as your library? see, e.g.: osgeo-org.1560.x6.nabble.com/… Nov 6, 2020 at 15:46
  • not sure - I have a few proj.db in anaconda3. The other paths are /Users/heatherneedham/anaconda3/pkgs/proj4-6.1.0-h2cc77ee_2/share/proj/proj.db, /Users/anaconda3/pkgs/proj4-6.1.0-h2cc77ee_2/share/proj/proj.db - which I think are different versions to the proj.db in the gsa_sm2019 environment Nov 6, 2020 at 17:22
  • do you have a GDAL install folder? Mine is 'C:\Program Files\GDAL\projlib'. In my script is: os.environ['PROJ_LIB'] = r'C:\Program Files\GDAL\projlib'
    – Theo F
    Apr 5, 2021 at 15:23

I had a similar issue when trying to use ogr2ogr on a shapefile, whilst setting -a_srs "EPSG:27700". The error you mention was very similar to mine, and I realised that my install of PostgreSQL/PostGIS had created its own gdal folder and set my system environment variables to look in the PostgreSQL gdal install folder, not my seperate standalone GDAL installation folder.

To fix, I removed all references to C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\11\gdal-data & the postgres proj_lib folder etc from my system environment variables, making sure that ONLY the standalone GDAL paths were set instead. ie. C:\Program Files\GDAL\gdal-data etc.

  • 2
    Worked for me! gis.stackexchange.com/questions/413943/… My 'Path' System Variable included C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\13\bin. I just removed it and I can run ogr2ogr -t_srs with no error. Thanks!
    – BallpenMan
    Oct 15, 2021 at 12:56
  • @LeeGoddard I don't think it should be empty. It needs to point to the GDAL directory.
    – Theo F
    Jul 20 at 21:46
  • 1
    @TheoF Yes, indeed! Jul 21 at 6:10

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