I am very new to QGIS and I am having trouble figuring out how to only show part of the map. I added an OpenStreetMap layer but I can't figure out how to only display a certain area. I only want to display the map of British Columbia.

Is there a way to do this with OpenStreetMap?

I tried using the QuickOSM Quick Query tool with the key "natural" in British Columbia but nothing came up.

Using GeoFabrik I got these maps:

From shp file

From osm.pbf file

I am looking for a basemap that is much simpler and only contains an outline or some simple geog. This data from OpenStreetMap XYZ tiles would be perfect but I don't want any map data outside of BC to be included.

From OpenStreetMap XYZ tiles

1 Answer 1


If you're looking for OSM-derived vector data of British Columbia, I think that the best option is to download it entirely from Geofabrik in a GIS compatible format. Here you could find the entire dataset for British Columbia. All the data contained in the package (points, lines and polygons) are described in the Format Description PDF with tags explations too. Once you loaded the data on QGIS, you could style it as you prefer.

  • Thanks for the response! That's an awesome resource. Do you know if I am able to create a simple outline or shape of BC from that data? I tried using the shp and osm.pbf files but they don't look too great and have a lot of info that I don't need. (attached photos in my post)
    – meelszz
    Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 19:10
  • An alternative approach could be using Overpass Turbo. With this query (overpass-turbo.eu/s/1mk0), after running and then exporting the result, you should be able to isolate the polygon of the British Columbia administrative boundary. In this way you could use the polygon to clip all the data coming from GeoFabrik (for example highways data exceeding the border). However, you'll still need to style all the vector manually in an OSM-like way. In this way you'll keep all data as vector. Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 8:27

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