xyz to QGIS

Using OpenStreetMap Basemaps with QGIS 3.0

QGIS 3 is a new wave of open source GIS. Not only is it extremely quick and efficient, allowing you to use almost every type of geospatial data you can throw at it, but it also includes a 3D renderer and ways to export your creations straight to the web. And let’s not forget the HUGE amount of tools it comes with out of the box.

But it has only been out a couple of days and is missing the good old “Quick Map Tools” which we have all become accustomed to, allowing us to easily bring in OpenStreetMap, Stamen, and other background maps with ease. You may have read that you can enable them by using xyz tiles, but, if you are like me, this might as well say, “Stick cheese in your keyboard and twiddle it a little.” As an average GIS user, I have no idea what an xyz tile server is, and, unless you need one, you probably won’t know either. So good news: I’ve put together a little blog for you to get your services back with ease.

Here’s how:
1 – Go to 

                                                                             Open the OSM wiki
2 – You’ll see that there is a column “tiles url.” These are the xyz tile web addresses you need to make this work.

                                                                               xyz tile addresses
3 – Open QGIS (3.0) and ensure your browser window is open. You will see the xyz tile option about three-quarters the way down the list.

                                                                           xyz tile option

4 – Select the “new connection” option, and, you guessed it, we are going to use the information from the web page and put it into the relevant boxes. ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: Ensure you remove the “$” symbols before copy and pasting them over.

5 – Click okay, and away you go! 


Now that you know how, you can go through the list and add the rest of the services.

Layer xyz web URL
OpenStreetMap’sÿStandard tile layer${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png
Wikimedia Maps${z}/${x}/${y}.png
OpenCycleMap${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png
Humanitarian map style${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png
OSM France${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png
Cycling routes${z}/${x}/${y}.png
Hike & Bike${z}/${x}/${y}.png
OSM B&W${z}/${x}/${y}.png or${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png
OSM no labels${z}/${x}/${y}.png or${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png
Stamen Toner${z}/${x}/${y}.png
Stamen Watercolor${z}/${x}/${y}.jpg
Transport Map${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png
Thunderforest Landscape${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png
Thunderforest Outdoors${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png
CartoÿLight (“Positron”) https://cartodb-basemaps-{s}{z}/{x}/{y}.png
CartoÿDark (“Dark Matter”) https://cartodb-basemaps-{s}{z}/{x}/{y}.png
OpenRailwayMap${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png OR${z}/${x}/${y}.png

Here is a list so that you can copy and paste them directly 🙂


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