For a project, I try to visualize an image of the world map in QGIs print layout. However, in QGIS, the round earth is flattened in a 2-D flat map. How can I include the curving of the earth, so that a 2-D map will be more representable? My layouts currently look like the arching is straightened, thereby stretching out countries.

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    Like, use WGS84 as your CRS?
    – Erik
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 8:43
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    Which projection do you currently use for your project? You could use the Mollweide projection for example, it is an equal area projection and therefore visualizes the earth more as a sphere: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mollweide_projection
    – gHupf
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 9:28
  • @Erik, I use WGS84 as CRS. Should I change this? Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 9:40
  • @gHupf this is indeed what I am looking for, although I still want to maintain the rectangular images. I think I found a useful tutorial to change the projection link, but if you have any solution that works well i'm keen to use yours. Thanks! Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 9:45
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    As the video states, every projection is distorted in one way or the other. There are equal area projections, those are probably what you are looking for. The rectangular ones do not really show the earth's curvature though. You can find a good overview to different map projections in the wikipedia entry to it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – gHupf
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 9:59

2 Answers 2


There is a coordinate system called "The_World_From_Space", which projects your data into the shape of the Globe:

enter image description here

You can see there are artifacts in this display (of Natural Earth Data), and it doesn't appear to be very raster friendly.

I am used to changing the central meridian of a coordinate system to center the display on a certain longitude, but can't seem to find how to do that in QGIS.

ArcMap / ESRI has a coordinate system called "The Earth From Space" which I think this is either based on or is very similar.


How your map looks like, depends on the projection you use. But since you map an ellipsoid on a flat map, you have a distortion in one way or the other (area, distance, shape, angle, etc.). The best way to show the curvature of the earth would probably be to use a projection, that looks like an ellipsoid, like the Mollweide projection for example. Displaying the curvature of the earth on a rectangular map is not that easy though.

To get a good overview of map projections, check the Map Projections Wikipedia entry.

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