Digital Geography

20. October 2016

QGIS and basemaps: QuickMapServices

To work in QGIS is very often much more convenient if you can use a basemap for your data. In the past we used and promoted OpenLayers plugin quite often but this was not the best out there as you saw often some issues with projections as well as with “lost tiles” in the map composer. So here is the new weapon of choice: the QuickMapServices plugin for QGIS.

Getting the QuickMapServices Plugin

Of course you can download the plugin via the plugin manager in QGIS but you can also download the latest version from NextGIS github account. Nextgis is Moscow based GIS company with lots of plugins for QGIS but which also offers some online services to support you with your daily spatial data.

QuickMapServices Plugin

About the QuickMapServices Plugin

Well the plugin works straight forward: Select a basemap and wait for the tiles to load and BAM there is your basemap. The cooles thing: QuickMapServices standard basemaps seems to work in nearly every projection (even custom  ones):

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You can use several basemaps by default like:
  • eatlas
  • landsat by gis-lab.info
  • Mapquest
  • Mapsurfer
  • nasa (only a few Us-centric layers)
  • OSM

basic styles in QickMapServices

To add some more basemap styles you need to download the so called “contributed pack”. Select Web->QuickMapServices->Settings->More Services and you will get even more basemap providers like:
  • ESRI
  • mapbox
  • stamen
  • carto (fka cartodb)
  • bing
To sum up: A great basemap service for QGIS!
  • Jean-François Godeau

    Thank you for the tip Riccardo! I was still using old-school OpenLayer plugin. I’ll give a try to QMS!