I am trying to import .tif images into Google Earth Pro, which have been created in QGIS 3.

The image has two colours, black and white, with only two values, 1 and 0, which was represented by each colour.

When this is brought into Google Earth Pro the image aligns in the right location but is just black. I cannot find any way to change its appearance or any information about the data which is held in it. How can I do either of these things?


You probably need to convert/render your image to an RGB color image before or during export from QGIS.

Google Earth can only import/display images that have 3 bands: red, green, blue. If your image file only contains one band, with binary data like your 1s and 0s, QGIS recognizes that and gives it a default styling (black & white). But Google Earth only expects 3-band images, and doesn't know what to do with a single band.

There's an easy way to fix this in QGIS. Make sure your raster layer has some styling set, even if it's just black & white. Right-click the layer, select "Save-as" and at the top of the window, look for "Output mode", and set it to "Rendered Image". Now set the rest of your options, including Format = GeoTiff, and export the TIF file again. That rendered image will be a bit bigger file, but it should show up correctly in Google Earth.

  • I should have realised that myself, but I guess I was assuming google earth would have a way of choosing how to represent images with pixel values rather than RGB. Thank you very much for your very detailed answer. :) – user5505559 May 27 '19 at 3:04

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