I have been struggling with a CSV file I need to import into QGIS 2.2.0 (on Windows 7).

The coordinates are in this format:

424605    861204
395222    861206
303051    861219
32155     861220
395541    861229
425119    861242

Latitude and Longitude are in units of degrees, minutes and seconds according to the person who provided the data.

I tried different formats (placing commas, dots, ', ", etc at different places) to import this dataset into QGIS, checking the "DMS coordinates" box in the "Create a layer form Delimited Text File". I always had a Delimited text file error message.

What is the format expected by QGIS for Latitude/Longitude in DMS?

  • I'm not sure it can import DMS, you may have to convert them to decimal degrees.
    – artwork21
    Apr 1, 2014 at 1:49
  • 1
    Guesses-> degrees° minutes' seconds" But conversion is easy to Decimal Degrees. D+m/60+s/3600 Apr 1, 2014 at 4:23
  • 1
    My search turned up that as long as you check that DMS box the format expected is very general - Three numbers separated by some character(s). ##°##'##" or ##'##'## should work. Commas might not work, as they are often field delimiters. Periods/dots would also potentially indicate a decimal (as it supposedly can take degree-decimal minute). Can you try ##-##-## and see if that works? The issue may also be your field delimiting character - if a tab try a comma or vice-versa.
    – Chris W
    Apr 2, 2014 at 4:47
  • Examples of valid formats can be found in the test data for QGIS
    – Jake
    Apr 24, 2020 at 9:21
  • 1
    "32155" is ambiguous -- would it be 32°15'05", 32°01'55" or 03°21'55"?
    – Dave X
    Nov 9, 2020 at 18:12

3 Answers 3


Assuming the data is really DD MM SS you can just add the data as follows


42 46 05 N,86 12 04 E

I use spaces to separate DD MM SS and I assume since numbers are positive N,E. Other ways may work but I find this the fastest for me at least since using special characters takes typing time

  • Did you mean N,E?
    – BradHards
    Apr 4, 2014 at 5:18
  • Ah yes N,E typo since I only ever use N,W in my part of the world Apr 10, 2014 at 21:23

working with QGIS 3.16.4-Hannover, here what worked for me after couple of hours:


for some reason QGIS wasn't able to plot the geometry and only gave a table, in the above notation, limiting your decimals for the seconds -i used python "{.3f}".format(S)- was crucial -not necessary 3 places i tried up to 9 and worked, but the absence of limiting seconds decimals was causing me an error, at first i left the seconds float as it was calculated, that was a problem. also I uses integers for degrees and minutes.


My friend the format you have given up there is utm which is in metres. It 100% possible to export dms in QGIS as lon as u have well arranged and tick dms check box. So convert utm to dms or dd then export

  • 1
    It is unlikely that UTM coordinates would not have 6, 7, 8, or 9 in the tens or thousands places. Given that the values are marked latitude/longitude, and the values are compatible with DMS, and the DMS answer was marked correct, it's probably incorrect to assert that this is UTM data.
    – Vince
    Nov 10, 2019 at 20:46

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