How To Use the Equal Earth Projection With QGIS on the Mac

Caitlin Dempsey


If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the ability to try out the Equal Earth map projection in QGIS, here are a couple of quick steps suggested by Tom Patterson (who developed the new map projection along with Bojan Šavrič) for setting up Equal Earth as a custom map projection.

Please note, your version of QGIS needs to have PROJ 5.2.0 installed for Equal Earth.  To check the version of PROJ, go to QGIS –> About and locate the version number of PROJ that is listed:

Screenshot showing how to find the version of PROJ that is installed in QGIS>

If you download the latest LTR of QGIS for the Mac (version 3.4.3) directly from the QGIS site, you will notice that the version of PROJ is 4.9.3 which won’t work for setting for a up custom map projection for Equal Earth.  

Fortunately, Lutra Consulting has MacOS packages for QGIS 3.4.3 that contain PROJ 5.2.0 (as a side note, Lutra is running a crowdfunding campaign to improve the process for MacOS installations of QGIS).

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Once you have a version of QGIS that is using PROJ 5.2.0, it takes two short steps to set up Equal Earth as a custom map projection.  First, go to Settings –> Custom Projections.  Click on the “+” button to enter a new custom map project.  Name it Equal Earth and in the parameters box enter the following:

+proj=eqearth +datum=WGS84 +wktext

Screenshot show map projections interface in QGIS.

Click on the “OK” button to save the new custom map projection.

To apply the new custom map projection, go to Project –> Properties and select CRS from the left menu icons.  Search for Equal Earth using the filter box.  Select the projection from the list and hit the “OK” button to apply.  That’s it!

Screenshot showing the interface in QGIS to apply the new custom map projection, go to Project --> Properties.

See Also

More QGIS Tutorials

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.