I have successfully created a QGIS project, added a OpenCyclemap layer and uploaded the data to QGIS Cloud, and published the map. When viewing the map in a browser, the OpenCyclemap background has diagonal text across it saying "API Key required" See http://qgiscloud.com/smoky/Derby_tube_map_cloud for example.

This is the same situation on more than one map. I have another map using OpenStreetmap (created a lot earlier) which doesn't have this "API Key Required" text. This might be due to the different background or the age of the map.

Previously, I don't think the OpenCyclemap based maps had the text (although can't absolutely check).

What API Key is needed?

Where can I obtain the key?

How do I "install" the key into QGIS or QGIS Cloud (or elsewhere)?

  • 1
    I have the same problem. There is no documentation anywhere that I can find that explains how to apply the API Key AFTER you have downloaded the layer to QGIS. – Steve P Apr 22 '17 at 3:25

If you are using the OpenLayers Plugin, this should work:

  1. If necessary, update OpenLayers Plugin to at least version 1.4.2
  2. Web > OpenLayer plugin > OSM/Thunderforest > Set API Key
  3. Enter API Key and confirm with OK
  4. Add the OSM layer from the OSM/Thunderforest menu again (previous layer(s) will not update even with API key entered)

PS: As already mentioned before, API keys are available from http://www.thunderforest.com/docs/apikeys/


Open Cycle Maps, and other maps produced by Thunderforest, now require an API key.

API keys were introduced in mid-2016 and were enforced in early 2017.

Information on API keys, including how to obtain them is here:


To use the key, append it to the URL that is used to request the map tiles.

  • Is there a way to append the key to a URL when using the OpenLayers plugin in QGIS? – blackthorn Mar 29 '17 at 5:56

The enhancement to the Openlayers plugin now provides a way of adding a API key and all works fine with Opencyclemap.

Thanks for the information and for the developers enhancing the plugin.


It is impossible to enter URL in the OCM properties, since we cannot modify it. We have only access to description URL, Attribution URL, Metadata URL or Legend URL, but pasting the thunderforest URL (you got from registering a thunderforest account) in either of these fields doesn't make any difference at last, the "API Key Required" text still displays on the map...

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