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I am currently working on a project where QGIS is used for creating and editing vector data and requires a Google or Bing aerial photo layer as a basemap. I can add Google satellite/Bing aerial photos as a base map layer using the OpenLayers plugin but I am looking for any solution that I can use to do this offline using local cached tiles.

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This is a duplicate of another SO question (not on the GIS site):… And also, this very question goes against Google's Terms. Unless you are a Premier member, you're not allowed to cache tiles. – Vadim Oct 1 '13 at 19:11
It's worth noting that caching Google tiles is not against the T&C. What is against the rules is pre-fetching (what the OP is actually asking). (See 10.1.3 Restrictions against Copying or Data Export.) – Dan Feb 5 at 14:29

4 Answers 4

You can use the script of the really good and light TileStache library. You could use TileCache also.

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You can set up a local apache server, and change the target URLs in the openlayers plugin to http://localhost/path/to/your/tiles...

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Caching Bing Maps tiles for offline use is against the terms of use of Bing Maps.

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you can downlaod Google maps for offline use with GoogleMapsRipper from

There is Batch downlaod mode - to do massive download, if needed. Not sure how legal is all this, but is doable.

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