I saved couple of pdfs when I relized that the scale I set is not the scale that shows, everything is a bit bigger.

I tried to check it not only at the print composer, but in the "work space" and it is wrong there too. The project is in WGS 84 / Pseudo Mercator, and I wanted to export some google satellite images, its CRS is also WGS 84 / Pseudo Mercator.

I tried to open it with a project in WGS 84, layer set in WGS 84, but then the scale shows something like 1:119 946 154 when it should be around 1:2000... what to do?! I am pretty new to qgis (and gis, in general), please help me figure this out.


WGS84 (EPSG:4326) has degrees as units. Pseudo Mercator (EPSG:3857) uses metres as units, but these are only true metres at the equator.

If you want a true scale map, you better use a project CRS of the UTM zone of your part of the world, or what is commonly used in your country. The layers can still have a different CRS, unless you are using the Openlayers plugin.

  • Well, I am actually using Openlayers, since I had to get some data quickly for a minor school project because nothing was provided for our analysis. I thought dowloading all the things from OSM with Vector > OpenStreetMap > Download data and so on... And then add Openlayers. I guess I could use WMS, as well, but is there any chance to make it work with the OSM data? – mnprkk Jun 13 '14 at 7:23
  • 1
    The OSM data is in Vector format, so you can use it with any project CRS. For the Openlayers plugin: You can save it as Image, then add it to a project with layer CRS EPSG:3857, but different project CRS. – AndreJ Jun 13 '14 at 8:23
  • Thank you! Now I set local CRSs for my projects, EPSG:21500 for Brussels and EPSG:3068 for Berlin and at least the shapefiles have the correct scale now. However it is pretty confusing when it actually shows you the correct scale for the Openlayers at the print composer, as well, and when you expot it, it's different. As I need to save various zooms for 'base maps', Openlayers would be the easiest way to do it, too bad it does not come with the correct scale instantly.. – mnprkk Jun 13 '14 at 9:51
  • 1
    That's the oddity of the mercator projection. – AndreJ Jun 13 '14 at 10:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.