I have imported the Google satellite imagery though the OpenLayers plugin. I would like to clip it to a polygon shapefile of New York State. Is it possible to do this? I tired the GDAL Tools and it wont let me select the imagery layer.

  • If you are looking for aerials of New York state, check the NY GIS clearinghouse: gis.ny.gov/gateway/mg.
    – Dan C
    Mar 12, 2013 at 19:29

3 Answers 3


Googles terms of uses forbid saving, reprocessing or creation of derivative work of google maps data and this is why there is no option to save the Google layer in QGis.

If you don't care about that ( private noncommercial project, studying, no redistribution, ...), then there are two options:

  • You simply create a new polygon layer in QGis, make it editable and digitize your buildings or area of New York State.
  • You can get a georeferenced raster using Project | Save as Image ...

However, i would advise you to look for other free available sources or purchase your own satellite images!

  • Point well taken, I have another source, but in some areas the resolution isn't very good. I almost ask what is the point of being able to import that information if you cant use it.
    – LandArch
    Mar 12, 2013 at 19:09
  • @LandArch that is the exact reason why most GIS professional stay away from google maps. Mar 13, 2013 at 1:44
  • I assume that the Bing and Yahoo satellite imagery contains a similar clause. I heard of some issue with using the Google imagery, but I did not get the details. I appreciate the information.
    – LandArch
    Mar 13, 2013 at 12:26
  • politics.stackexchange.com Sep 20, 2015 at 19:38

Alternatively you could find Imagery here http://gis.ny.gov/gateway/mg/

  • 1
    thanks that is the other resource that I typically utilize. Unfortunately the more rural areas areas have a resolution that make its difficult to zoom in on a small site, i.e a residential lot.
    – LandArch
    Mar 13, 2013 at 12:25

Import a raster from google earth. georeference it and then you may extract the raster with a polygon layer.

  • 2
    Would you be able to edit your Answer to provide the precise steps that you are proposing, please? Normally, about a paragraph is considered minimum length for Answers and Questions here.
    – PolyGeo
    May 21, 2014 at 7:30

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