Change Rhino XY World coordinates to match a point from incoming GIS coordinates


I’m trying to establish a workflow between QGIS and Rhino so I can build terrains, run calculations in GIS, open/export data to bring into Rhino for further development. The thing is I would like to change my rhino world xy origin (not Cplane) aligned to the top left corner of the square shown in the screenshot so that I don’t run into problems when drawing, snapping, etc. Ideally I would like the export/import to be seamless, I could live with any manual rotation in rhino upon import if necessary. Can this be done?

Thank you

That’s not possible.
The World 0,0,0 in Rhino is fixed.
You’ll need to establish a translation datum point and move your geometry instead.

Hello - does ExportWithOrigin help you at all?


Thank you @John_Brock

@pascal This is not a bad fix but at that point it would have to be a breakout file so I couldn’t really import anything with the correct projected coordinates from GIS into that exported file. But I guess that will do for now, thank you for the suggestion.

That’s why establishing a translation datum point is the way to go.
Then you know precisely how far the origin was shifted so you can go back and forth without losing registration.

new feauture in “project origin point” would resolve this and many other problems (far from origin). has it ever been considered amogst mcneel team?

Hello - I know there is discussion from time to time about how best to deal with far from origin problems but I do not know what strategy the developers have decided on - I have not heard of the thing you mention…


Agreed. A simple orient script via a control point for all imported gis layers is so far the best thing I can come up with. It requires careful management but its alright. On that note, is there a way to read curves via a file path without having to actually import the file? I figured I’d ask here instead of opening a new thread. Thanks again

I’ve been able to go between QGIS and Rhino/GH successfully with the Heron add-in, but have a few questions to clarify your current workflow: Would setting the EarthAnchorPoint to the top left hand corner help? How are you getting data between QGIS and Rhino in your screenshot? What file types are you using? Are you able to use Grasshopper?

Hi @Brian_Washburn sorry for the late reply (holidays). I will check out Heron, in my screenshot I used an exported geotiff from QGIS and used Bison to generate a terrain geometry which I textured using a matching tiled orthophoto (thank you MassGIS). Mostly I’ll be bouncing back and forth shapefiles and other useful data for my site (about 100 acres or so).

Hi @carlosmguzmanv If you find it useful, I’ve attached a quick setup file using Heron to bring in topography and aerial imagery downloaded from MassGIS using an EarthAnchorPoint close to the lat/lon from your original QGIS image. If you need to go back and forth to QGIS, Heron has an ExportVector component that can export SHP and GeoJSON. (35.3 KB)


1 Like

Thanks a lot! This is amazing work, it definitely streamlines and improves my work flow. Will check out tutorials as well

Unfortunately the tutorial videos you’ll find on food4rhino are from the first release of Heron awhile ago and don’t cover much of the current functionality. I have been actively developing Heron and releasing through the package manager, but tutorials and documentation are sorely lacking. If you have any specific workflow needs, don’t hesitate to reach out.

1 Like