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I am looking for a free printable background map of europe which should look more or less like the OCM landscape: land use, major rivers, coast lines Is there any WMS or raster set whiche enables me to make quick distributions maps of species in Qgis and print it.

Borders would be useful but not essential, labels of cities, major roads etc. are not need nor wished.

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    you can use the openlayers plugin – julsbreakdown Jul 30 '15 at 9:27
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Natural Earth offers raster and vector data with scale-depended detailing.

Another solution for background maps is the stamen watercolor TMS based on OpenStreetMap data:

http://maps.stamen.com/watercolor/#12/37.7706/-122.3782

  • the Natural Earth data was thing I had in mind! thanks – user16032 Jul 30 '15 at 19:10
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In Europe you can use the Corine Land Cover map at 1:100k, this is land cover rather than land use but for habitat and species mapping may be more appropriate.

There are many varieties available of the dataset including;

Data is available for re-use under the standard European Environment Agency licence terms, which permit non-commercial and commercial re-use.

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You can also build your own topo-maps following this article. No landuse though.

Really sweet!

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