I encountered a problem in QGIS 2.18.21 with printing or exporting my Map Composition into PDF. The layer composition has:

  1. one vector polygon layer (either 4326 or 3857)

  2. one baselayer (either Google Road/Terrain or OSM)

I tried all sort of combination:

  • print and export

  • my polygon in 4326 and 3857

But as long as the baselayer used is Google (either Road or Terrain) the resulting PDF has shift between polygon layer and Google baselayer, as shown in the picture below: enter image description here

Looking closely into the shift, it appears that the polygon layer and Google baselayer has different scale, as going eastward and southward the shift grow bigger.

With OSM as baselayer, the PDF looks fine (no shift), as shown in the picture below: enter image description here

Now to the question: how do I print/export my map composition with Google baselayer in it?

  • If your polys were originally in 4326, are you simply saving them to 3857 or are you using the reproject tool or gdal warp? Aug 14, 2018 at 11:18
  • 4
    Are you using the OpenLayers plugin? If so, don't. It's buggy, and the QuickMapServices plugin is a better choice.
    – ndawson
    Aug 14, 2018 at 12:23
  • @ndawson, yes, the Google Baselayer came through OL plugin. I tried again with QMS now the resulting PDF is correct, no spatial shift! If you could put it as answer instead of comment, i can accept it as answer. Thanks!
    – Rino
    Aug 15, 2018 at 3:08
  • @firefly-orange originally the polygon is 4326. I made 3857 with reproject. If it were from simply saving that to 3857, the spatial shift will be much much worse, i reckon. :)
    – Rino
    Aug 15, 2018 at 3:17

1 Answer 1


I recommend you to use the complement QuickMapServices to avoid distortion problems at printing.

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