Before you start, see our helpful guide to web service versions and version support in GIS applications to check which web services your version of QGIS supports.

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.

LINZ Data Importer QGIS plugin

Grab the LINZ Data Importer QGIS plugin for easy access to all WMTS supported data from the LINZ Data Service in QGIS.

LINZ Data Importer plugin

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.

The following process is for accessing LDS Web Map Tile Service in QGIS is performed using QGIS version 3.4.11.

Step 1

From the QGIS application, click the Add WMS/WMTS Layer (globe icon) from Layer > Add Layer to bring up the Add layer window:

Screenshot showing how to add a WMTS Layer in QGIS.

Step 2

Click New:

Screenshot showing WMTS window.

Step 3

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

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 Waikato 0.3m 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.)

Screenshot showing the ‘Create a New WMTS Connection’ window.

Step 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 step 6 below to enter your proxy settings.

Screenshot showing WMTS window with connect button highlighted.

Step 5

Your WMTS dataset will appear in the Tilesets tab:

Screenshot showing the WMTS connection.

Step 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.

Screenshot showing Network window and settings.

Step 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). Click on the dataset to highlight it, then click Add. Close the window.

Screenshot showing the tileset options for the dataset.

In this example, we have chosen to add the NZTM tileset of the Waikato 0.3m Rural Aerial Photos layer:

Screenshot showing dataset from WMTS connection in QGIS.

Step 8

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.

Screenshot showing multiple tiled datasets in QGIS.

Step 9

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.

Screenshot showing feature information for a dataset.

Step 10

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:
Screenshot showing how to add a downloaded scale set.
  • 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:

Screenshot showing zoom levels from downloaded scale set.
Reference Category: Map tile services
Reference Tags: WMTS, QGIS
Last Updated: 
23 June 2021