I am quite new to QGIS, but am using it for utility mapping at work.

I have added a google maps layer to my QGIS project via http://mt0.google.com/vt/lyrs=s&hl=en&x={x}&y={y}&z={z} and am needing to align the view (perhaps the projection?) between it and some utility maps. The issue I am having is that corners that I know to be 90 degree angles, and correctly shown as such on the utility maps are not quite that in the google maps layer so I cannot get them to line up. The view is roughly viewed from above, but slightly behind and off-center so the fronts of the buildings, their NW side, is shorter than the back. The north and south corners are slightly obtuse and the east and west corners are slightly acute.

How do I get the view to properly show square?

Example of a parking lot with the same issue: OffSquareParkingLot

  • 2
    Please edit your post to include screenshots that show your problem.
    – Stu Smith
    Commented May 4, 2022 at 4:29
  • 2
    If you have 2 questions I recommend asking 2 questions seperately
    – Vincé
    Commented May 4, 2022 at 7:22

1 Answer 1


I assume you have zoomed in quite a bit to see such details. It is a common misconception that you can see satellite imagery in Google Maps' Satellite mode. If you zoom in enough to see details you are most likely looking at aerial imagery (i.e. from an airplane). Many of them are taken with a slight off-NADIR angle. There's often a great deal of expectation-management necessary when it comes to satellite-imagery, as many people assuem what they see on Google Maps is what they can expect to get from a satellite, when in fact they look at aerial imagery.

For reference you can read the entire (bizarre) story, why it is called "satellite" here (Twitter, now X)

The resolution is always a good hint. Currently you can reach up to 30 cm resolution with (quite expensive) Satellite imagery. This applies to imagery that must be purchased and is quite expensive and hence isn't commonly found on GoogleMaps. Free satellite imagery is available from 10m and upwards (e.g. Sentinel 2).

Here's an aerial image with the off-NADIR angel that you described. Clearly the resolution is MUCH higher than 30 cm: enter image description here And this is what you could expect if you'd look at a pure satellite image (different location). Look at the trucks as a reference in comparison to the cars in the 1st image: enter image description here

  • This is the issue I am having, is there a fix for this? I am not particularly tied to google maps, so if you can recommend a proper satellite view I would rather switch than deal with this issue.
    – user205011
    Commented May 4, 2022 at 21:56
  • It depends: do you require the resolution of the aerial imagery like displayed above (1. pic)? If so you can just check out other Map-Providers such as Bing-maps. Often they have other data available (I checked for the Example-location from my answer and you would be able to find NADIR imagery for this location via Bing-maps) If a coarser resolution (i.e. real satellite imagery) is fine for you there are many solutions. An easy starting option could be: apps.sentinel-hub.com/sentinel-playground (and it's bigger brother apps.sentinel-hub.com/eo-browser for downloading data).
    – Vincé
    Commented May 5, 2022 at 8:43
  • Unfortunately I do need higher resolution than the real satellite imagery I see on sentinel eo-browser/playground. I found the NADIR view, both in Google Maps and Bing Maps, but back to my original issue: how do I get that NADIR view imported to my GIS?
    – user205011
    Commented May 5, 2022 at 16:29
  • You can import base-maps of several providers e.g. via the QuickMapServices Add-on: nextgis.com/blog/quickmapservices. Or you just look for repositories with WMS-Links to import them just like you did for GoogleMaps. Again, if you have several questions, poste them as several questions. You intitial questions was about finding out WHY the imagery does look as if it was taken from a tilted angel. Moreover you wrote in your first sentence that you were able to import a base-map, so for me it looked as if you knew how to sort this out..
    – Vincé
    Commented May 5, 2022 at 21:12
  • I barely knew what I was doing when I imported the GoogleMaps base-map, I think I pulled the link from a tutorial somewhere? I appreciate your time and responses, I'll see if I can find another link to import that is from a NADIR view.
    – user205011
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 15:29

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