As far as I can tell, the Google satellite imagery loaded as an xyz tile in QGIS is the same image that is used in Google Earth, but at a lower resolution. The lower image below is from QGIS using the xyz tile while the top image is from Google Earth. Both are screenshots.

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I used "https://mt1.google.com/vt/lyrs=s&x={x}&y={y}&z={z}" for the xyz tile and I am using QGIS 3.8, but I also have this issue when using older versions. Is there a way to improve the xyz tile resolution?

Edit 1: the CRS for the QGIS image is WGS 84/UTM zone 17N (EPSG,32617) Edit 2: they are just simple windows snips, but do not look any different when exported using 600 DPI

  • 2
    What coordinate system is your QGIS project in? Are you in between tile scales? Aug 8, 2019 at 19:40
  • 1
    Is this is a simple screen capture (e.g. Snipping tool on Windows?) If so, try Save as image... with a reasonably high dpi value (e.g. 300) and compare. Recent versions of QGIS seem to fetch higher resolution tiles (if available) for final output, but might not do so for canvas rendering.
    – Steven Kay
    Aug 8, 2019 at 19:57
  • It does not make a difference how I capture/export the image in this case. The resolution is much worse from the XYZ tile. Sorry for the late reply, but this is still an issue. The CRS does not seem to have any effect either. I tried it in EPSG 4326, 32617, and 3857. Oct 2, 2020 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


I have a great resolution inserting a xml layer for Google Earth as indicated on this webpage: https://felix.rohrba.ch/en/2016/awesome-basemap-layer-for-your-qgis-project/

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