I am updating infrastructure layers in QGIS for a small municipality.

Everything is open source and there is no budget for buying new data.

I need to update the ROADS layer - as the one in the original database is well... absolutely terrible. Rather than fixing every feature to become workable with I want to just re-create the whole layer by digitizing in roads from a Basemap. My problem is that all of the basemaps used from the OpenLayers plugin seem to be out of date. I also tried using some WMS maps from StatsCanada (Its Canadian Data) and there are some roads missing. The most accurate/updated data I am able to find is from maps.google.ca. I could do it the long/hard way by clicking on each point on google maps saying "whats here" to get the coordinates, then start a line feature at that point.. but that is a lot of going back and forth between my browser and my GIS program.

I was wondering if anyone has tried to take google maps (from maps.google) and use it as a basemap in QGIS - getting what you see on their main website not some old cached version from openlayers. OR if there is a better way to do this? (I thought about using a mapserver and digitize a KML layer on there then convert it to a shapefile and import into QGIS but that seems like a lot of extra steps as well..)

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    Be careful of violating the google maps "terms of service". Basically you can't trace from google maps.
    – BradHards
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 6:41

1 Answer 1


Concerning the question how to add different basemaps see my other answer on High resolution, printable alternative to OpenLayers plugin for QGIS? But as already mentioned be aware of the terms of use

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