NASA makes available a Digital Elevation Model for the Moon in GeoTIFF format. I am trying to use QGIS to create a map of a specific region, bounded by certain values of latitude and longitude. From what I can gather (I am not a GIS person; this is my first time using QGIS), the GeoTIFF in question is encoded as x, y, elevation, but I need to work with latitude and longitude.

I load the file in question into a new project by adding a new raster layer and selecting the file. However, when I add a grid decoration, it is displayed as x, y. In addition, if I want to select a point or region, I must input x, y.

I tried extracting elevation contours (using Raster->Extraction->Contour), add that layer, and try to add fields via the Attribute Table (specifically the $x and $y attributes, as suggested in this answer). However, the computed values are NULL.

From what I can gather, my CRS looks correct: +proj=ecq +lat_0=0 +lon_0=0 +x_0=0 +y_0=0 +a=1737400 +b=1737400 +units=m +no_defs. It looks correct to me (again, not my wheelhouse) because it shows that the map is in a simple cylindrical projection, with lat/lon zero at xy zero, over a sphere with radius 1,737,400 m (the correct radius of the Moon).

I also tried converting the raster into a vector (using Raster->Conversion->Polygonize) and work with the resulting shapefile to no avail.

How would you go about loading the linked GeoTIFF in QGIS and displaying a map of, say, upper-left corner in lat/lon (30 deg, 0 deg) and lower-right corner in lat/lon (-30 deg, 30 deg). The map would have a grid separated in, say, 5 degree increments.

1 Answer 1


If you look at your CRS you will see the "+proj=ecq" and "+units=m" parts. that mean that the CRS of your raster is an Equirectangular projection using meter as unit. That's why your coordinate are expressed as x,y in meter and not lat/long in degree.

If you change your canvas CRS (not your raster CRS !) to a geographic CRS your grid should display as degree (I can't help you with geographic CRS choice, I never work with non earth data)

(and for contour, as they are linear feature you can't calculate x,y coordinate as a line has several (at last two) pair of coordinate

  • I tried changing it to a variety of CRS's without success (e.g., +proj=longlat +a=1737400 +b=1737400 +no_defs, which is the IAU2000:30100 CRS shipped with QGIS). I also tried in Project Settings to select units to degrees, also without success.
    – Escualo
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 19:11

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