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How to find the proper coordinate reference system with two sets of data using different measurements or too convert one system into another

I'm fairly new to the GIS world, but I'm doing a project with noise calculations. My dataset is in shapefile and I would like to add a map to my project, so people can see where in the world the project is situated.

But, when I'm adding a map through the OpenLayers plugin my project is situated just south of Nigeria and my project is in Denmark! CRS is WGS 84, EPSG:4326.

How can I change the coordinates of my project so I can add a map to the project?

And, if anyone has a suggestion as to which OpenLayers I should prefer, please say so...

I'm using QGIS 1.8, Lisboa on a Mac.

marked as duplicate by Ian Turton, Mapperz Jan 21 '13 at 14:14

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


If you use the Openlayers plugin, your project CRS must be in EPSSG:3857 (Google Mercator). Your data layers may have a different CRS. You can check it by rightlick on the layer, Set CRS for Layer.

You should check On the fly projection in Settings->Project Settings, CRS Tab.

For choosing a suitable openlayer, I would suggest Openstreetmap, because Google may not like extensive use of their tiles without using their own API, as well as in publications.

  • Thanks, I have changed the CRS to EPSG:3857 (Pseudo Mercator) and set up the Openstreetmap, but still I don't get any projections of the layers. The Google Mercator is called EPSG:900913. I have also checked "on the fly". The layers are in correct order. Any other suggestions? – Kasper Jan 22 '13 at 9:02
  • I think it's the coordinates of the project that's wrong here. My layers are still south of Nigeria. So maybe I need to transform the coordinates? – Kasper Jan 22 '13 at 9:09
  • Metadata of 1 layer: In layer spatial reference system units : xMin,yMin -233766.08,335966.39 : xMax,yMax -231461.94,340192.04 Layer Spatial Reference System: +proj=utm +zone=32 +ellps=intl +towgs84=-87,-98,-121,-0,-0,-0,0 +units=m +no_defs – Kasper Jan 22 '13 at 9:23
  • This layer should have EPSG:23032. You can check it by rightclick, SET CRS of layer. If you think that 4326 would be right, you can assign that to the layer and look if its situated better. Basic difference is that 23032 is in meters, and 4326 in degrees. EPSG:900913 and 3857 have the same definition, but the first is deprecated and will be cancelled in future versions of QGIS. – AndreJ Jan 22 '13 at 10:12
  • Thanks again, but still my layers are not in the right place. Coordinates are way of and still south of Nigeria. Thanks for the help so far. – Kasper Jan 22 '13 at 11:44

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