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Like ArcGIS Desktop has the option of using basemaps from ArcGIS online, does QGIS have any such options?

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Printing basemaps in print composer is I believe a problem. Does anyone have any updates on printing? – Willy Apr 6 '12 at 15:52
up vote 66 down vote accepted

Update 2015: A new plugin with even more background map options is QuickMapServices

Original: Use the OpenLayers plugin to get Google Maps, Bing, OSM or Yahoo background maps.

Note that these layers are NOT SUITABLE FOR PRINTING! (see open tickets in the answer to

enter image description here

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Please consider also that such layers are not reprojectable, so your QGIS project must be in Google Mercator. Also not every scale level will be available. If you need BING maps as a real WMS (so reprojectable as any other raster) try – Giovanni Manghi Feb 13 '12 at 11:08
I love this plugin, but I do find it sometimes doesn't quite line up with my data, sometimes crashes Qgis (especially when I resize my Qgis window) and doesn't line up at all when making a PDF from the print composer. Otherwise it is ace. Issues have been reported. – Spacedman Feb 14 '12 at 14:35
@underdark, do you know why these layers are not suitable for printing? – adi Aug 4 '15 at 11:11
@ArditSulce see – underdark Aug 4 '15 at 16:51

Another plugin to add basemaps in QGIS - QuickMapServices:

enter image description here

QGIS Python Plugins Repository:

More info about plugin:

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+1 This one has transparency control in the properties of the layer. – Mapperz Apr 5 at 17:39
This one works better than OpenLayers plugin, which does not display maps for big scales (~>1:2000) sometimes. – Jochen Schwarze Apr 6 at 8:24
Google is not showing up for me even if I reinstall it, as well as half that you have. What else did you do? – Luffydude Jul 1 at 13:20
@Luffydude you must get contributed services pack in QMS settings (Contributed services tab) – HasT Jul 1 at 13:30
Cool! it works! thanks – Luffydude Jul 1 at 14:48

A couple of related blog posts:

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

While this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the links for reference. – Bill the Lizard Nov 4 '12 at 19:23

i use mapproxy to serving google maps (without caching) as WMS. Obviously, QGIS can read WMS.

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If you're looking to add the ESRI basemaps to QGIS, follow the steps in this blogpost using the QGIS Python console:

Copy and paste this code into the QGIS Python Console:

Adds ESRI_Imagery_World_2D service:


Adds ESRI World_Street_Map service:


Then you can save these as QGIS Layer Definition Files and add them later to any project

And here's the REST endpoint of all the ArcGIS Online basemaps you can add using the above code:

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