I'm working with QGIS 1.8.0. Could anyone tell me which UTM system would be better to project a map of Mexico? There are too many to choose from. I have to convert my maps from WGS84 to UTM to do some distance measurements.

Please let me know. Regards!

4 Answers 4


As @Jens answered, UTM zone 14 North is the best zone for Tamaulipas.

If I remember correctly, Mexico provided information for the original NAD83 definition, but never officially published/converted to NAD83. INEGI did release a Red Geodesica Nacional 1993 datum (also known in the EPSG Geodetic Parameter Registry as Mexican Datum of 1993). The EPSG ID is 4487. EPSG has a null transformation (parameters are zeroes) only for Mexican Datum of 1993 to WGS84.

NAD83 (CSRS) should not be used because, as Jens pointed out, it's for Canada. NAD83 (CSRS) is a re-adjustment of the original NAD83, but for Canada only. Other re-adjustments include several for the US: NAD83 HARN, NAD83 (NSRS2007), and NAD83 (2011).

Even though the PROJ.4 definitions are the same, as Andre Joost said, an incorrect definition will cause confusion in the future, and make it more difficult to convert data to a different coordinate reference system, if necessary.

For Note: I'm on the subcommittee that maintains the EPSG registry.


The easiest way to tell is to go to the area in Google Earth then go to Tools-->Options --> Show Lat/Long and select "Universal Transverse Mercator" and click apply.

At the bottom just to the left of the coords is the UTM zone, move your mouse to the area you are working on.

enter image description here


Mexico (the country, not the city) covers 6 UTM zones: from WGS 84 / UTM zone 11N in the west to WGS 84 / UTM zone 16N in the east. It does not make sense to use one UTM zone for entire country. In this image you can see the UTM zones.

For the state Tamaulipas in the Northeast of Mexico zone 14 fit best. Therefore these systems (amongst others) can be used in Tamaulipas:

  • NAD 83 / UTM zone 14N
  • WGS 84 / UTM zone 14N
  • Thanks for your answer Jens. So its the same if I choose the systems NAD83CSRS/UTMzone 14N, NAD83/UTMzone14N or NAD27/UTMzone 14N?
    – user20159
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 11:36
  • I meant for a state in Northeast (Tamaulipas) Mexico. Which one would you recommend?
    – user20159
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 11:39
  • NAD27 is outdated, the others should be the same. 14N should fit best.
    – AndreJ
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 12:34
  • @Andre Joost: Sorry, I am not familiar with NAD…. But EPSG notes that area of use of NAD83 (CSRS) is Canada. For NAD 83 it is Canada and USA. Are you sure that NAD83 (CSRS) or NAD 83 is usable for the north east of Mexico?
    – Jens
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 12:43
  • The proj parametres are all the same.
    – AndreJ
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 12:49

Here is the link for you to download UTM download should you or anyone who reads here

Enjoy !

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