I'm trying to add a buffer to a CSV layer, in QGIS, which is overlaid onto an OpenStreetMap layer but I do not know how to change the units from degrees to meters.

I've tried to change the CRS to EPSG 3857 which does change the units to meters but then the points are not where they are supposed to be on the OpenStreetMap overlay and seem to be at a completely different scale because I have to zoom into the ocean to see them. Even when I set the OpenStreetMap layer to EPSG 3857 it seems to be a completely different scale.

Just wondering if if there is a way to change the buffer unit to meters but keep using EPSG 4326 as then all my layers seem to be at the right scale.


1 Answer 1


Meter units can't be used with a geographic CRS. Its units will always be angular. Regarding your attempt at using 3857, you most probably didn't reproject but simply defined the new reference without changing the actual coordinate values.

So in order to use 3857 properly, go to the Processing Toolbox (Processing menu > Toolbox), and search for the reproject layer tool. Alternatively, you can right click on the layer and export it as a new layer with the needed CRS as output. Then the points will be correctly positioned.

This is a common problem, exactly the same as in Layer disappears when changing from CRS in degrees to CRS in meters in QGIS.

  • Yes - that's it, it's fine now. Thankyou very much! Jun 9, 2021 at 12:17

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