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Frequently Asked Questions about QMS

If you don’t see an answer to your question below, let us know in comments or send it to us directly, we’ll add it here.


Q: What’s QuickMapServices?
A: QuickMapServices (QMS) is an open catalog of geodata sources and a way to add them to your GIS in one click (read more).

Q: What is the goal of QMS
A: To make geospatial services more accessible.

Q: Why add services to QMS?
A: To easily find them and plug-in to your GIS project. Literally in just few clicks.

Q: Can I add services to GIS without QMS?
A: Sure! But you’ll have to enter cumbersome links and parameters.

Using a service

Q: How do I use one of the services from QMS?
A: Search and add it in your GIS. Currently there are clients for QGIS, ArcGIS and NextGIS Mobile.

Q: What kind of data I will get by using one of QMS services?
A: This depends on a service. Through QMS you can get access to vector data, basemaps and rasters.

Adding a service

Q: What kind of services I can add to QMS?
A: You can add:

Q: What are minimum needs to add a service?
A: You’ll need to provide a correct service url at the very least.

Q: All these abbreviations mean absolutely nothing to me, can I still add a service?
A: Unfortunately, not at this point, you’ll need to learn the basics first.

Q: Ok. I’ve found a website with a map a like and copied it’s link, can I use it?
A: Most probably not, links copied from browsers address bar are typically not service links that you can use with QMS.

Q: What should I know to succesfully create WMS service?
A: Please note the following particulars when creating a WMS service:

  • You should use layer(s) NAME, not layer(s) TITLE.
  • To check what layers are available, add your WMS to QGIS first Layer/Add Layer/WMS layer... and have a look what’s there.

Q: I’ve seen services links that are different from examples above, are there other examples?
A: Yes, there are lots of varieties and service link can look very differently. Just browse QMS clicking on service type and see what kind of links other services show.

Start with the ones down below.

Q: I’ve created a service, but type in incorrect, can I change it?
A: You can't change the type of a service once created. You'll need to create another one with the correct type.

Q: How do I check that my service is OK?
A: Find it through a client and add to see the data on a map. In QGIS you can use QuickMapServices plugin.

Q: What is service boundary and why add it?
A: Service boundary describes its geographic extent. It is not mandatory, but if the service has boundary, several convenient feature become available. For example, service becomes discoverable by its location on the map, even if name is unknown.

Q: How do I add service boundary?
A: Service boundary can be added while creating or editing a service. Service boundary is a GeoJSON file with the following parameters:

  • Coordinate system EPSG: 4326
  • Geometry type: polygon or multipolygon
  • File size: 2 MiB
  • Number of feature in a file: one (can in fact be several, but only the first one will be used).

Q: Where do I get GeoJSON file?
A: GeoJSON can be created in QGIS or at

Q: I added service boundary, how do I check if it works ok?
A: After adding - find this service in QMS for QGIS and place a mouse cursor over the service in the search panel. If all went well, green rectangle defining service extent will appear on the map. If not - double check your GeoJSON and re-upload if there are problems.

Fixing a service

Q: I’ve found service, but it doesn’t work, how do I fix it?
A: Use ‘report a problem’ form.

Every service has it’s author (aka maintainer, submitter). Use the form to let the submitter know that the service is broken. Provide information how to fix it.

Q: I’ve notified service maintainer about problem and provided solution, but maintainer is not reacting, what can I do?
A: If maintainer doesn’t reply for a long time – create a new service (you’ll become it’s maintainer). Old incorrect service will gradually be removed.

Removing Services

Q: I've created service, but it was removed. Why?
A: There are several reasons why we remove services:

  • the service is plain wrong or not working for a long time (due to a broken link or other parameters)
  • the service is a duplicate of an already created one
  • the service lacks proper name and/or description. QMS is a public collection, all services must have explicit metadata.

Q: How can I delete a service?
A: Find a service you'd like to remove. If you're a submitter for this service you'll see a Delete button in the top right corner. Use it. You can't undo this action.