I'm looking for options to add aerials to my QGIS Project. The OpenLayers plugin doesn't work (it says it's only available for versions 2.0 - 2.2), so I'm stuck moving from ArcMap to QGIS. Is there maybe a repository I could go to to download georeferenced aerials? I'd prefer not to have to go through Google Earth downloading a few hundred aerials and then georeferencing them. Or maybe there is a plugin I'm missing?

2 Answers 2


You can add Google Aerial basemap to you QGIS canvas using Google TMS. Save the following as .xml file and load it as a raster in QGIS

<!-- Data is subject to term of use detailed at http://code.google.com/intl/nl/apis/maps/terms.html and
 http://www.google.com/intl/en_ALL/help/terms_maps.html -->

<Service name="TMS">
    <!-- <ServerUrl>http://mt.google.com/vt/lyrs=m&amp;x=${x}&amp;y=${y}&amp;z=${z}</ServerUrl> --> <!-- Map -->
     <ServerUrl>http://mt.google.com/vt/lyrs=s&amp;x=${x}&amp;y=${y}&amp;z=${z}</ServerUrl> --> <!-- Satellite -->
    <!-- <ServerUrl>http://mt.google.com/vt/lyrs=y&amp;x=${x}&amp;y=${y}&amp;z=${z}</ServerUrl> --> <!-- Hybrid -->
    <!-- <ServerUrl>http://mt.google.com/vt/lyrs=t&amp;x=${x}&amp;y=${y}&amp;z=${z}</ServerUrl> --> <!-- Terrain -->
    <!-- <ServerUrl>http://mt.google.com/vt/lyrs=p&amp;x=${x}&amp;y=${y}&amp;z=${z}</ServerUrl> --> <!-- Terrain, Streets and Water  -->
<Cache />

Note there are 5 different types you can choose from by editing the xml tags.

Similar ones exist for OSM, Here and Bing.


You can use the QuickMap Services plugin to get aerial background maps in QGIS.

You have to activate additional sources with Web -> QuickMapServices -> Settings, More services, Get contributed pack.

BTW the Openlayers plugin still works for me in QGIS 2.14. You might need to update the plugin to version 1.3.6.

Apart from the plugin, many surveying authorities now offer their own aerial imagery as a WMS service.

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