I'm trying to export a Google satellite basemap as tif to visualise a personal project I'm working on.

I'm using QuickMapServices to fetch the Google basemap. But whenever I use "Save As" I get the error "Unsupported data source". I wondered if it was a coordinate issue, but its set to WGS84/Pseudo Mercator.

Up in Canada, it seems that my only basemap options are Bing and Google. The problem with Bing is that its too blurry to make out some features I'm trying to identify.

  • Have you tried enabling the "contributed pack" of base layers? This enables many more layers than the few available by default in quickmapservices.
    – csk
    Apr 3, 2018 at 18:55
  • Hi csk, yes I did. Because I need a sat view and am in Canada, the other services don't work. Bing offers sat image and I can export, but is too low quality. The only service I've found that works is Google's, but I can't export it.
    – o3z4
    Apr 3, 2018 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


Definitely not endorsed, but you can do this approach:

  1. Add an XYZ tile source for the Google Maps layer:


  2. Add the layer to your map, zoom to desired region

  3. Right click the layer, Save As
    • Set format to GeoTIFF
    • Untick "Create VRT"
    • Enter a filename
    • Under Extent, click "Map view extent"
    • Under Resolution, make sure you use the horizontal/vertical resolution option and NOT the columns/rows option. Enter a reasonable resolution (units are meters per pixel), and make sure both the horizontal and vertical resolution are equal. If the generated rows/columns values are extreme, drop your resolution.
  4. Click OK and wait while the tiles are downloaded and saved to the GeoTIFF destination.
  • Not sure this is entirely legal, but it sure works well... Apr 4, 2018 at 17:35
  • The community at opendata.stackexchange.com might be able to advise on the legality of this approach, as well as if there are any other data sources for satellite views of Canada.
    – csk
    Apr 4, 2018 at 19:16
  • 1
    'Enter a reasonable resolution (units are meters per pixel)' - anyone able to advise here? I seem to get large pixels generated on the map Aug 9, 2019 at 14:03
  • 2
    This is still working. Half-a-meter (0.5x0.5) seems like downloading similar quality tiff as found in basemap Jul 8, 2020 at 7:16
  • In UTM coordinate space, 0.5m x 0.5m gives me an unusable images with huge pixels, while increasing the number (e.g., 500m x 500m) starts to get more reasonable. Surely there is a way to simply export at full resolution?
    – Shawn
    Mar 1, 2021 at 17:50

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