Adding a base map in QGIS

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This article provides the basic steps required to add a base map to a QGIS project.

BEFORE adding your base map, you must make sure the Projections are set properly.

  • 1. From the main menu click Project > Project Properties
  • 2. Click on CRS tab on the left to see the Coordinate Reference System settings
  • 3. Click the Enable ‘on the fly’ CRS transformation check box.
  • 4. Type "Pseudo" in the Filter box. From the results select the WGS 84 / Pseudo Mercator (Authority ID EPSG:3857), then click OK to save the changes

[Note: the previous name: Google Spherical Mercator is no longer valid.]

  • 1. From the main menu click Plugins -> Manage and Install Plugins
  • 2. Start typing the name of the plugin "OpenLayers" in the SEARCH box and the list will be filtered
  • 3. OpenLayers should already be installed, as indicated by the checkbox being ticked.
  • 4. If you get an error using Open Layers Plugin, Uninstall, then Install a fresh version. To install any plugin, click on the item in the list, then INSTALL PLUGIN button
  • 5. After you see "successfully installed" dialog box, CLOSE the Plugins window

Opening the base map;

  • 1. On the main menu, click Web and then navigate to OpenLayers Plugin -> Google Maps -> Google Streets (or you can pick on of the other layers to add, such as OSM or Yahoo choices etc)
  • 2. Click Web from the top menu and -> Open Layers plugins
  • 3. The base map will typically appear on the TOP of the drawing order.
  • 4. On the Layers List, click on the base map layer and DRAG it to the bottom of the stack