How to transform projections between Spherical Mercator and EPSG 4326

Projections in GIS are commonly referred to by their “EPSG” codes, these are identifiers managed by the European Petroleum Survey Group.

One common identifier is “EPSG:4326”, which describes maps where latitude and longitude are treated as X/Y values.

Spherical Mercator has an official designation of EPSG:3857. However, before this was established, a large amount of software used the identifier EPSG:900913. This is an unofficial code, but is still the commonly usedin many GIS systems.

Any time you see the string “EPSG:4326”, you can assume it describes latitude/longitude coordinates.

Any time you see the string “EPSG:900913”, it will be describing coordinates in meters in x/y.

In python its quite easy to transform coordinates using OGR and OSR tools with their python wrapper.

def transform(pointX, pointY):
# Spatial Reference System
inputEPSG = 4326
outputEPSG = 3857

# create a geometry from coordinates
point = ogr.Geometry(ogr.wkbPoint)
point.AddPoint(pointX, pointY)

# create coordinate transformation
inSpatialRef = osr.SpatialReference()
inSpatialRef.ImportFromEPSG(inputEPSG)

outSpatialRef = osr.SpatialReference()
outSpatialRef.ImportFromEPSG(outputEPSG)

coordTransform = osr.CoordinateTransformation(inSpatialRef, outSpatialRef)

# transform point
point.Transform(coordTransform)

# return point in EPSG 3857
return point.GetX(), point.GetY()


Basically you can use coordTransform to transform any geometry (point,polygon,line e.t.c) between any osr supported projections.

Hope this helps

Varun Pant

How to transform projections between Spherical Mercator and EPSG 4326  by  Varun Pant