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I'm currently preparing to do a survey with QField. I use the OSM or/and Google satellite as my basemap. In my Qfield export, it is saved as a .gpkg (2.7MB) and limited to the area I want to survey.

Is there a way to preload the basemap, so that when I scroll through the area in QField or zoom out, it doesn't have to load?

Or possibly another format that loads faster?

I'm quite new to QGIS/QField.

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You can enable the basemap option in the QFieldSync plug-in when configuring your project in QGis.There are two options

  1. use a single layer (the XYZ OpenStreetMap layer is handy for that, WMS is also possible)
  2. use a pre-configured map theme in QGis

When you do so, there is no need for any other (basic) topographic offline layer (*.gpkg, *mbtiles or other). The basemap also loads quickly (and is not limited to a certain area). I hope this is helpfull.

See QField Ecosystem Documentation

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