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Using Google map as background map

Hi Pix4D,


I would like to use google map as my base map, please let e know how as I have difficulties using the maps server come with pix4D. Thanks.

Hello Jin,

In the Android version of Pix4Dcapture it is possible to select an alternative base map provider. In the Settings menu you can find a list of available providers (e.g. Esri). To add a provider like Google Maps you need a corresponding valid license. In the next Android version it will be possible to import a kml file as a background for planning missions. 

With the current provider in some places, tiles are out dated or missing depending on the zoom level. It can be possible to zoom but no tile is displayed or the zoom level is blocked. Switching from the satellite to the street base map might help since it is sometimes more up to date.


any update on this? can we import kml file from google?

Hi Carlo,

Yes it is possible to import .kml and .kmz file created on Google Earth with Pix4Dcapture Android.
Please find more info here:


Hi Pix4D,

I think you are glossing over the actual question here. We know you can import .klm and .kmz files.

What many users would like is the for the drop down menu option under “Street basemap provider” and “Satellite basemap provider” to give the option of Google Maps. In the areas we are interested in they are newer, higher quality photos than those of the other providers. A number of other drone software packages provide this option so it is certainly possible to do it !!

Please implement this in Pix4D capture.

Than you

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Have you tried to add Google Maps as a new provider as described in this article?

Yes, but it does not explicitly state what URL to use for Google maps.

I struggle to understand why so many other other UAV ground control software packages can use Google Maps without it being so complicated.

If you can’t simply install it as one of the drop down boxes, then please provide step by step instructions for “dummies” !!

Thank you

The use of Google Maps tiles for flight planning is actually restricted in the sense that the user should make a request to Google to get authorization as these are not publicly available data. If you need further information, we suggest that you contact Google support directly and ask them for the URL for tile service.

Hope it helps :)!

Hi, I have contacted Google directly as you said. I have made an account with them so I can get a license or API key if/when required. Unfortunately this still does not help. I have cut and pasted their reply below


Thanks for reaching out, that’s really a confusing one. As you may have seen in the Android Maps API docs, there’s no such a thing as a URL for that. 


My best guess is that Pix4d wants you to integrate 


  • either the Javascript Maps API:



Both of them have some sort of a URL to identify your account.


If that doesn’t work, then maybe contact Pix4d support, imho they should be more clear in that step.


Can you please explain exactly what type of API key is required, and provide the URL to use Google Maps exactly as it is required to be typed, indicating where the user is required the enter their key. Hopefully this will avoid further messages back and forth !!


Thank you.


We tried to import several map providers (open source) with the Pix4Dcapture feature on Android, but we did not test Google Maps. The URL should be something like http ://{z}/{y}/{x} or very similar regarding the end, but the characters {z}, {y}, and {x} must be part of the URL.

There are several ways to integrate Google Maps API. Perhaps you can find more information in developer communities, e.g. is very resourceful.

I just wanted to add some extra data for clarification about what Pix4D uses for their default base map. Currently the use a developer platform called Mapbox ( ). Mapbox uses multiple commercial & government sources for their satellite and aerial imagery. Here is their documentation of sources and image accuracy:

Mapbox Satellite uses global satellite and aerial imagery from commercial providers, NASA, and USGS. As cities grow and landscapes change, we add newer, clearer, and more attractive imagery.

The current zoom level offerings include:

  • 0–8: MODIS 2012–2013.
  • 9–12: Landsat 5 & 7, 2010–2011.
  • 13–19: a combination of open and proprietary sources, including DigitalGlobe’s GBM 2011+ for much of the world, USDA’s NAIP 2011–2013 in the contiguous United States, and open aerial imagery from Denmark, Finland, and parts of Germany.

I know this doesn’t help with the Google Map requests, but useful data none-the-less.


Try this (worked for me):{x}&y={y}&z={z}&s=Ga

Michael Turner gracias, me soluciono el problema por completo, saludos amigo

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Can confirm adding the google source with Michael Turner’s url works and fixes the black map problem when zoomed in using mapbox.


Me funciono colocando como URL del satile de Micheal Turner

Google Map vs MapBox

To old to be use with MapBox. The biggest Bridge is not on the Map and no possibilities to zoom

This on Maputo Mozambique Africa

Worked with Michael Turner’s URL!  

I’m having problems displaying any basemap on PIX4d capture .  I’ve installed Pix4d capture and Ctrl-DJI on my Crystal Sky using APKs from apkpure and adb install.  The default Mapbox map does not display (map or imagery).  I have also tried Michael Turners URL again with no success (I tested it on an android tablet and it works well).

I have also tried:



So how are DJI messing with the mapping ?  Any suggestions please before I pull all of my hair out!

Hi Pete,

Can you send a screenshot of what you see, when trying to plan a mission?
What version of Pix4Dcapture are you using?
Are you updated with the latest CrystalSky firmware version?
In your case, I would suggest you reinstall the app from scratch.

Note that the CrystalSky is not officially supported by Pix4Dcapture yet. In the future, we will provide the latest APKs of our app at a defined location and it will come with a procedure on how to install them on the CrystalSky.