I have a KML file where the Icon is a png image of a generated coverage, and the idea is to overlay this in a layer over a basemap background, below is the KML file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2">
    <name>Test Coverage</name>
        <description>Test Coverage</description>
            <east> 29.18931</east>
            <west> 27.19041</west>
        <name>New Coverage</name>
            <coordinates> 28.18986204,-25.86602141,0</coordinates>

When loading the KML as vector I get the following dialogue


When selecting all layers I get the following result


The picture the should have been overlayed looks like this


Is what I would like to do possible in QGIS 3.6? I if so, what am I doing wrong?

2 Answers 2


First, make sure that your PNG is in the same folder than your KML.

Then, in QGIS, open the browser and open the KML file with the raster icon (drag and drop it on the map) or use Layer > Add Layer > Add Raster Layer and select the .kml file.

Otherwise you will only open the geometry (meaning the boundaries of the image as a polygon in that case).

enter image description here

  • Thank you for the response. When I do this I get the following error message: 2019-10-10T13:16:33 CRITICAL Invalid Layer : GDAL provider Cannot open GDAL dataset /home/Downloads/RM7FECF870F54_0/RM7FECF870F54_0.kml: `/home/Downloads/RM7FECF870F54_0/RM7FECF870F54_0.kml' not recognized as a supported file format. Raster layer Provider is not valid (provider: gdal, URI: /home/Downloads/RM7FECF870F54_0/RM7FECF870F54_0.kml Oct 10, 2019 at 13:18
  • Indeed, I get the same error using your KML. This method won't work if your KML has both an ImageOverlay and a Point in the same file. What I suggest to you is to separate in two files using Google Earth or manually with a text editor. Tell me if it works and I'll update the answer to specify this for the documentation.
    – Léo M
    Oct 10, 2019 at 13:30
  • Thanks for the suggestion Léo M, but I am afraid the result stays the same, I have used Google Earth to remove the point from the KML file so that just the "GroundOverlay" is left. The image is in the same directory as the KML file. But I still get the "CRITICAL Invalid Layer : GDAL provider Cannot open GDAL dataset" error as described above. Oct 23, 2019 at 11:26

Consider using KML Tools Plugin for QGIS. With this plugin installed you may load Ground Overlays with Raster -> KML Tools -> Extract KML/KMZ Ground Overlays.

This plugin is under active development at the moment so your mileage may vary.

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