I’m trying to update some GPS point coordinates in an attribute table using QGIS Field Calculator. However, regardless of whether I do it by creating a new field or updating an existing one, I get about 13 decimal places, the last 5 of which are “9” for every feature. (The original points only had 6 decimal places.) I doubt that this is really a coincidence! It happens even if I stipulate a lower Output field width and Precision. My expression is $y, for example, for latitude.

Any idea what’s going on here?

  • I assume you're seeing the data is stored in binary problem where not all values can be precisely stored. Some info here: stackoverflow.com/questions/618535/…
    – mkennedy
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 16:09
  • Thanks, mkennedy, but I'm afraid that discussion is a bit beyond me. So do you have any idea what I can do to make my data look reasonable?
    – TVZ
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 17:32
  • Here's a clue I just discovered. My original data was NAD 83, so I filled in 2 columns w/ projected data. That went ok. Then I saved the layer as WGS and ran the same expression to get lat/long data. That's when I got all the 9's.
    – TVZ
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 17:47
  • I had a similar problem here: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/108336/… Commented May 22, 2015 at 7:26

1 Answer 1


That definitely sounds like an it's an issue with floating point representation.

Try using round($y, 6) instead of just $y to round to six digits after the decimal place.

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