I'm using QGIS Hannover 3.16.3. I often use Google basemap layers from the XYZ tiles. When rotating the maps the place names rotate with them. Is there a way of stopping this? Perhaps an alternative map source?

  • No, a basemap is a picture so there is nothing QGis can do to change it.
    – Ian Turton
    Commented Jan 3 at 13:27
  • Not all "basemaps" are raster basemaps. Commented Jan 3 at 15:41
  • @bugmenot123 how do I find these non raster global basemaps? Are they free?
    – Tom
    Commented Jan 4 at 10:33
  • Look for vector tiles as suggested in the existing answer by @Vince already. Commented Jan 4 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


Short answer: No, you can't rotate a Google-XYZ-tiles map and keep the labes facing down. But there are alternatives.

An XYZ Tile map is a so-called base-map. You can think of it as if it were a 'photo of a map' (albeit different photos at different zoom-levels). If you turn the map, it's like rotating a photo - the labels will always remain facing the original direction.

The same goes for WMS/WMTS.

However: Depending on where your AOI is located, you may be able to find a Vector-Tile basemap. One such example is the Vector-Basemap by the BKG ministry of Germany. Here the layer-style, labels etc. are drawn dynamically, just like from a shapefile, where you can change things in the settings of the file. You can include it just like the XYZ-Tile and you need the associated layer-styling .json file.

Since the labels are drawn based on the attributes, just like from a normal shapefile, you can also flip it with the labels always facing down:

If you need a satllite-basemap with labels in the right orientation. I would use a sat-basemap without labels and ad places/roads etc. via shapefiles as a layer over it (can also be done with the vector-tile basemap.

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