A step-by-step guide for connecting to LINZ Web Map Tile Services (WMTS) in QGIS.

Visit the QGIS Project website for more help and to download the application.

Accessing LDS web services

The first step in accessing LDS web services is to create a web services or API key. These keys are codes (such as abcdefgh123456789) unique to each LDS user, and are used to simplify the process of accessing web services.

Important notes

  • QGIS supports the ‘Identify Features’ (Get FeatureInfo) function for WMTS
  • QGIS displays offshore Islands that are east of the anti-meridian line, to the far left of the New Zealand Mainland because the 180 degree anti-meridian acts as the right most boundary of the map.

How to use LDS WMTS in QGIS


  • You can alter the transparency of the tiled dataset for better visualisation of data overlays by right-clicking on the dataset and selecting Properties > Transparency
  • Ensure the Render box in the bottom right corner is checked
  • To switch between the Web Mercator and NZTM tile set versions, you will need to make a new connection to a dataset. Switching between tile sets cannot be done on the fly within an existing connection.
  • QGIS 2.18 provides a preview of raster tiles until all tiles are fetched for the screen.

 The following process is performed using QGIS version 2.18.

  1. From the QGIS application, click the Add WMS/WMTS Layer globe icon shown below to bring up the Add layer window (by default, this toolbar appears vertically on the left hand side):
    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 1
  2. Click New:
    Screenshot of 'Add Layer(s)...' window showing connect button

  3. Enter a name of your choosing in the Name field. For example, LDS WMTS Northland.

    Copy and paste the WMTS URL from the ‘Services’ tab of your dataset of choice in LDS into the URL field. 

    Most raster datasets on LDS can be accessed via WMTS.

    For example, see the Services tab for the Northland 0.4m Rural Aerial Photos

    Make sure you click on the Smooth pixmap transform checkbox. This option smooths and optimises the rendering of images. Click OK. (There’s no need to enter a username and password as the LINZ Data Service knows you’re a registered user from your API key.)
    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 3

  4. This connection will be added to the Layer dropdown box. Click Connect to fetch your WMTS tiled dataset. 

    If you need to enter any proxy access credentials, QGIS may prompt you for them at this point. 

    Otherwise see point 6 below to enter your proxy settings.

    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 4
  5. Your WMTS dataset will appear in the Tilesets tab:
    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 5

  6. If your request fails, you may need to change your internet settings to use a proxy server and enter your proxy details. To change these settings in QGIS:

    Select Settings > Options > Network

    Check the Use proxy for web access box, then fill out the details as per your IT policy

    A typical configuration that is required in a Windows Corporate environment is the use of the Windows default 'Internet Settings'. To do this you only need to set the proxy type to 'DefaultProxy'.

    For Windows users this will re-use your “Internet Setting” which is set via Internet Explorer.

    Make sure all other settings (host, port, user, password and exclude URLs) are all cleared.
    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 6
  7. At this point, you can choose the tileset for the dataset you wish to connect to – in this case, either Web Mercator (EPSG:3857) or NZTM (EPSG:2193). 
    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 7

  8. Click on the dataset to highlight it, then click Add. Close the window. In this example, we have chosen to add the NZTM tileset of the Northland 0.4m Rural Aerial Photos layer:
    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 8

  9. You can add multiple tiled datasets to the same project if your work spans a wider area. Simply, follow the process above to make another WMTS connection. Remember, to add the datasets in the same tileset projection.

    To turn these datasets on and off, use the check box under the Layer panel.
    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 9

  10. If you have connected to a NZ Parcel Boundaries WMTS, you can use the ‘Identify’ (Get FeatureInfo) function in QGIS to view related attribute data for a parcel.

    Simply click on the ‘Identify Features’ icon in the toolbar then select a parcel. You can view the feature information in either html or feature format.
    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 10
  11. To get the best quality result from our NZTM tile services, you may wish to load the tileset scales file into your application. This will enable you to zoom in and out of the imagery according to the specific predefined zoom levels our service has been built to.

    Note: A limitation exists in QGIS where if you’ve loaded the tileset file the only way to preserve these pre-set scales when zooming is to select the level from the Scale box. Use of the zoom in and out tools in QGIS or the wheel on your mouse will not preserve the defined zoom levels.

    File downloads for both NZTM and Web Mercator:
    QGIS NZTM Scale Set (XML 491 bytes)
    QGIS Web Mercator Scale Set (XML 635 bytes)

    To load the file:

    - Go the Project menu and select Project Properties
    - Under the General tab, check the Project scales box
    - Select the Load icon:
    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 11

    - Browse to the scale set file in its saved location, then Open the file
    - Click OK

    In order to ensure the proper use of zoom scale, you must select an initial zoom level from the Scale box on the bottom right of the screen. It does not matter which zoom level you select. Any level will do:
    How to use LDS WMTS in Quantum GIS - Image 12
Reference Category: Map tile services
Reference Tags: WMTS, QGIS
Last Updated: 
30 July 2018