[Proj] a simple coordinate conversion problem

OvV_HN ovv at hetnet.nl
Tue Aug 14 07:03:57 EST 2012

In reply to:

[Proj] a simple coordinate conversion problem
Martin Ivanov martin.ivanov at ifg.uni-tuebingen.de
Fri Aug 10 07:48:32 EST 2012

Dear users of PROJ,

I have a data set on a perfect sphere with radius 6371 km. The "projection"
is latitude-longitude, so the data practically are unprojected.

I need to transform the coordinates of the points in my data set from the 
to WGS84. For that purpose I need the +towgs84 parameters for my sphere, 
which I
do not know. Does someone have a clue how to get these parameters?

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Best regards,



A decent datum transformation program should be able to transform from 
ellipsoid-ellipsoid, ellipsoid-sphere, sphere-ellipsoid, sphere-sphere. I 
don't know if PROJ.4 can do this, but it should not be too difficult to 
implement this in the code.

A transform from spherical to ellipsoidal coordinates is not necessary for 
some kinds of data, like meteorological data?

Hmm..... let's take a test point, say lat=50d; lon=10d; h=120m; on the 
Normal Sphere with a (rounded) radius of 6371000 meters. If I transform this 
to the WGS84 ellipsoid with translations 0, rotations 0, scaling factor 0, 
then I get the coordinates:
lat'=50.1892244; lon'=10; h'=5558.1 m.
I should say that about 5.4 km height difference and around 21 km difference 
in northerly direction (with respect to the WGS84 ellipsoid) is quite 
Possibly a bit too much to ignore, even for meteo applications.

Oscar van Vlijmen

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