I have downloaded the UK Land Cover 2007 25m raster data set from Digimap (which my university has a subscription to). I have uploaded the data into ArcMap where it works fine, with all 23 classes and colours shown. However, when I upload the data into QGIS (which all my other data works on) it says the raster is not a supported file type. It appears in black, grey and white and I cannot find a way to get it to appear with the 23 colours and classes it should have. When I downloaded the data set it came with; AUX file, XML document, OVR file, DBF file and LYR file(which has raster in the name).

Is there a way to get it to work in QGIS? I am open to any suggestions. Could I convert it to a supported file type in Arc and bring it into QGIS?

  • 1
    What raster format is the data in? There are some questions here about opening Esri GRID files in QGIS, which you may have. If it's just a tiff, it shouldn't be an issue. Might be helpful to provide a link to what you downloaded. We also have questions about using lyr files (which save the symbology) in QGIS. The solutions can be involved/challenging, so once loaded you might be better off manually symbolizing the data in QGIS yourself, having it open in Arc to use as reference.
    – Chris W
    Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 18:54
  • digimap.edina.ac.uk/webhelp/environment/… This is what I have downloaded, also available at the CEH gateway eip.ceh.ac.uk/lcm/getData . I do have it as a tiff image but don't know how to get the 23 colour classes displayed? I have a lyr file that works in Arc but same issue in QGIS, no colours. @Chris W
    – Abigail
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 10:08
  • Thank you everyone, I emailed digimap and they sent me a QML file to add to the style section in properties and it now works
    – Abigail
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 12:14

3 Answers 3


The CEH data is a single band greyscale Tiff that has an Esri .lyr file associated with it to style it with the appropriate colours. This is not the most straightforward option for this dataset but it is consistent with other datasets that have multiple colour schemes.

Digimap now provide a QML file along with the Layer file to make the data more interoperable.

To make your own QML file for a single band greyscale tiff follow these steps in the Style Tab of the Properties:

  1. In the Band rendering section change the Render Type to Singleband Pseudocolor

If you don't know how many different values there are in the raster follow this step... In the Load the min/max values select Min/max then click the Load button. Above in the Generate new color map section you should now have the highest and lowest values, which should give you a good idea in most cases.

  1. In the Generate new color map section select: Random colors, Mode Equal Interval and change the number of classes to be the number of different values in the raster, in this instance that is max +1 = 24 as the lowest value is 0 and the numbers range up to 23.

  2. Click the Classify button

  3. You will now have 24 (0 to 23) entries with random colours assigned that can be manually edited according to the style guide in the data's accompanying documentation.

  4. Click the Style button at the bottom of the Style tab and then save the style as a QML file.

A version of this dataset's QML file can be found here:



Using the WMS tile service from


can load the Landcover tiles in with QGIS

enter image description here

You can save out for local files or create vector file from raster using the grass tools (r.to.vect)


You can get your desired data after making a free account on this website earthexplorer.usgs.gov You can download landsat7 as well as landsat8 satellite imageries from this site and can perform image classification in order to get required land cover.

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