Projections Support

If you’re outside the pyqgis console, the code snippets on this page need the following imports:

from qgis.core import (QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem,
                       QgsCoordinateTransform,
                       QgsProject,
                       QgsPointXY,
                       )

Coordinate reference systems

Coordinate reference systems (CRS) are encapsulated by the QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem class. Instances of this class can be created in several different ways:

  • specify CRS by its ID

    # PostGIS SRID 4326 is allocated for WGS84
    crs = QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem(4326, QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem.PostgisCrsId)
    assert crs.isValid()
    

    QGIS uses three different IDs for every reference system:

    If not specified otherwise with the second parameter, PostGIS SRID is used by default.

  • specify CRS by its well-known text (WKT)

    wkt = 'GEOGCS["WGS84", DATUM["WGS84", SPHEROID["WGS84", 6378137.0, 298.257223563]],' \
          'PRIMEM["Greenwich", 0.0], UNIT["degree",0.017453292519943295],' \
          'AXIS["Longitude",EAST], AXIS["Latitude",NORTH]]'
    crs = QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem(wkt)
    assert crs.isValid()
    
  • create an invalid CRS and then use one of the create* functions to initialize it. In the following example we use a Proj string to initialize the projection.

    crs = QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem()
    crs.createFromProj4("+proj=longlat +ellps=WGS84 +datum=WGS84 +no_defs")
    assert crs.isValid()
    

It’s wise to check whether creation (i.e. lookup in the database) of the CRS has been successful: isValid() must return True.

Note that for initialization of spatial reference systems QGIS needs to look up appropriate values in its internal database srs.db. Thus in case you create an independent application you need to set paths correctly with QgsApplication.setPrefixPath(), otherwise it will fail to find the database. If you are running the commands from the QGIS Python console or developing a plugin you do not care: everything is already set up for you.

Accessing spatial reference system information:

crs = QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem(4326)

print("QGIS CRS ID:", crs.srsid())
print("PostGIS SRID:", crs.postgisSrid())
print("Description:", crs.description())
print("Projection Acronym:", crs.projectionAcronym())
print("Ellipsoid Acronym:", crs.ellipsoidAcronym())
print("Proj String:", crs.toProj4())
# check whether it's geographic or projected coordinate system
print("Is geographic:", crs.isGeographic())
# check type of map units in this CRS (values defined in QGis::units enum)
print("Map units:", crs.mapUnits())

Output:

QGIS CRS ID: 3452
PostGIS SRID: 4326
Description: WGS 84
Projection Acronym: longlat
Ellipsoid Acronym: WGS84
Proj String: +proj=longlat +datum=WGS84 +no_defs
Is geographic: True
Map units: 6

CRS Transformation

You can do transformation between different spatial reference systems by using the QgsCoordinateTransform class. The easiest way to use it is to create a source and destination CRS and construct a QgsCoordinateTransform instance with them and the current project. Then just repeatedly call transform() function to do the transformation. By default it does forward transformation, but it is capable to do also inverse transformation.

crsSrc = QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem(4326)    # WGS 84
crsDest = QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem(32633)  # WGS 84 / UTM zone 33N
xform = QgsCoordinateTransform(crsSrc, crsDest, QgsProject.instance())

# forward transformation: src -> dest
pt1 = xform.transform(QgsPointXY(18,5))
print("Transformed point:", pt1)

# inverse transformation: dest -> src
pt2 = xform.transform(pt1, QgsCoordinateTransform.ReverseTransform)
print("Transformed back:", pt2)

Output:

Transformed point: <QgsPointXY: POINT(832713.79873844375833869 553423.98688333143945783)>
Transformed back: <QgsPointXY: POINT(18 5)>