My understanding is that different projections can use the NAD83 Datum i.e. UTM, Lambert Conformal Conic.

But what happens when I'm working in R and I set the CRS of a shapefile to EPSG:4269 (https://spatialreference.org/ref/epsg/nad83/)? Does it have a datum, but no projection? Can NAD83 also be a projection?

  • 3
    Research "coordinate systems", which have two flavors, Geographic and Projected. All PCS are based on a GCS.
    – Vince
    Jan 31, 2022 at 20:49
  • Really you should use the official EPSG registry to explore EPSG codes: epsg.org/crs_4269/NAD83.html
    – nmtoken
    May 5, 2022 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


The proj4 string of EPSG:4269 reveals it all "+proj=longlat +ellps=GRS80 +datum=NAD83 +no_defs ": which means that the "projection" is longlat, so it is unprojected on NAD83 datum, and the coordinate units are degrees and not meters like in UTM, Lambert or Conformal conic.

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