Does QGIS have functionality to download Google Map Orthophotos? Or any other open source GIS?

I specifically want to be able to not only view Google Maps on my GIS, but also be able to download the imagery so that I can use it to orthorectify (means: provide georeferences to) other historic digital aerial photos, which is done in a different program.

(I'm inexperienced using QGIS)

  • 5
    Downloading Google Maps tiles is not allowing in their terms of service.
    – Nathan W
    Feb 25 '16 at 23:15
  • 1
    nope, can't do it
    – Adam
    Feb 25 '16 at 23:22
  • It is possible (but most likely not allowed) to use Print Composer to download images. For exampe create a fishnet of polygons and print Composer can save a image for each polygon
    – BERA
    Mar 7 '17 at 12:49

SASPlanet is a free program (freeware GNU licensed ) designed to view and download georeferenced images of high resolution satellite maps and conventional servers such as:

Google Earth, Google Maps, Bing Maps, Nokia , here , yahoo !, Yandex OpenStreetMap , ESRI Navteq.

Find more for SasPlanet.

  • How does this work with QGIS? Have you used this before? Please expand on your answer to give more information. As it stands, this looks more like an advertisement than an answer.
    – MaryBeth
    Feb 26 '16 at 20:22
  • GeorefExport is an experimental plugin Qgis plugins.qgis.org/plugins/GeorefExport allows you to download a georeferenced image, but do not think is what you want , the resolution is not optimal for large areas ( it loses much detail). In SasPlanet you can find an area of ​​interest and download in various formats georeferenced image with good resolution and different suppliers. You can download it in ECW ( geographical system WGS84 ) format and open it in QGIS or Geographic Information System . Feb 27 '16 at 21:03
  • Thank you, Javier. This helps answer my question regarding whether or not there is other software that can do this. I appreciate it.
    – Ira S
    Feb 29 '16 at 1:26

if you are trying to download the Google imagery, you are able to save the imagery in QGIS, but the downloaded imagery will not be georectified.


Open Google Earth image using openlayers plugin. Zoom in to the location at a desired scale. Click Project - Save as Image - Filetype- select .tif then save. Load the saved .tif image as raster QGIS will ask for CRS - select EPSG:3857

Voila! you have now a georeferenced image.

Save it as another image and you can change the new CRS...

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