I would like to make world file out of OpenLayer's Google Earth. The problem is, that Google Earth layers in Qgis are shown EPSG:3857, but I need just standard WGS84 (ESPG:4326). When I try to set layer units to decimal degrees, Qgis does not change anything. If i force WGS84 projection, than map displayed incorrectly.

Could you please help with this ? I couldn't imagine, that this "map stuff" is so complicated...

Actually, Qgis is not necessary for me... I just need a simple way to get map with world file (WGS84). Are there some small free applications, which could take Google Earth image and make world file for them ?

  • I'll just like to warn you that what you want to do is very much against the Terms of Service of Google Earth/Maps Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 15:23
  • Hmm, I am surprised to hear this. If I will capture image from Google Earth and then georeference it with Qgis, will it violate something too ?
    – Newbie
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 15:32
  • 1
    I am not a Lawyer, but my understanding is that the Copyright is owned by Google, and you cannot take an image from Google Maps/Images and use it. Furthermore if you digitize some data on top of Google Earth, the copyright of that data belongs to Google and not you. You can read the TOS here: google.com/earth/license.html Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 15:35
  • According to the TOS 2.a & 2b, you cannot (2b) copy, translate, modify, or make derivative works of the Content or any part thereof; (2c) redistribute, sublicense, rent, publish, sell, assign, lease, market, transfer, or otherwise make the Products or Content available to third parties; Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 15:40
  • As long as you do it for personal use only, they would (and could) not sue you. If you want to publish the picture, better use openstreetmap background.
    – AndreJ
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


In QGIS, you can get a world file easily if you save the screen as a picture.

So best practice is to make that using openlayers plugin, then delete the plugin layers, load only the picture you just saved, make sure it is set to EPSG:3857, change the project CRS to EPSG:4326, and save the picture again to a different name.

  • Thank you so much ! It worked nicely. Can I change the resolution of the image I get ? It looks ugly when i save image just with the size of my monitor...
    – Newbie
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 15:28
  • You can zoom in and make several screenshots. QGIS can puzzle them together in the second step. Don't forget to accept the answer.
    – AndreJ
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 15:38
  • So if I will open several georeferenced images, which overlap each other in some places, than QGIS will handle it correctly ?
    – Newbie
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 15:52
  • Yes. You can move the pictures in the table of content up and down, to decide which one will be on top of the others.
    – AndreJ
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 17:42

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