I have run into a slight problem it would seem. Yesterday I downloaded qgis in the hope that it could convert a .kml overlay of some administrative boundaries from EPSG:3857 (Google maps) to EPSG:27700 (Ordnance Survey).

What I did: I loaded the .kml file into qgis as a vector file and then right click, save as and type in the new Projection I would like as in this photo:

However, when I load the newly created .kml in google earth, it is exactly the same. I also converted both the original and the new .kml file to a .svg using an online tool and compared them. They too were exactly the same.

Am I missing something here?


3 Answers 3


KML files are always WGS 84/lon lat (http://www.opengis.net/def/crs/OGC/0/LonLat84). Save the KML file as an EPSG:27700 shapefile instead.

Alternatively, you could download the Ordnance Survey OpenData Boundary-Line dataset, which is already in EPSG:27700. See:



As a first step, you have to set the CRS of your kml layer to EPSG:4326 instead of EPSG:3857.

You can do that with Rightclick on the layer -> Set CRS for layer.

In a second step, you can Rightclick again, Save As ... and select ESRI shapefile as output. This time with CRS EPSG:27700 British National Grid.


For those in South Africa battling with unprojected shp file not displaying in Google Earth well once saved as kml from QGIS, try this:

Change the CRS of shp file in QGIS to South African CRS : HBK_NO_31, and then re-save as kml It worked for me!

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