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I am trying to create a dialog that allows the user to select a coordinate system from either the recently used projections or a general list of all available projections. This would basically offer the same functionality as the standard dialog that pops up when you load in a shapefile with no known CRS.

Is there a way to call the "Coordinate Reference System Selector"-dialog from within a plugin? I know it is possible to query the recently used projections and all available projections, but it seems like a lot of overhead to recreate something that is already there in QGIS.

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You should try something like that :

from qgis.gui import QgsGenericProjectionSelector

projSelector = QgsGenericProjectionSelector()
projSelector.exec_()
projSelector.selectedCrsId()
projSelector.selectedAuthId()

http://qgis.org/api/classQgsGenericProjectionSelector.html

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