basemap.at & QGIS: How to get a sharp picture of Austria (Update)

Using the WMTS-Service basemap.at in ESRI ArcGIS Pro (v 1.4) and QGIS (v 2.18) I discovered some differences in the display-quality of the WMTS-Service in both programs – while basemap.at was a beauty in ArcGIS Pro, the display-quality in QGIS was not that smooth… (@same extent etc.)

Basemap.at QGIS versus ArcGIS Pro

My first thought was having some distortion because of SRS-differneces between the service and my map-frame  – but the service and the map-frame have been EPSG 3857 (Google Pseudo Mercator). After some research, I discovered that the problem was related to the pre-defined scale-levels in QGIS and the scale-levels of the basemap.at WMTS.

How to get a sharp picture of Austria in QGIS ?

The scale-levels of the map-frame are defined in „Settings“ – „Options“ – „Map Tools“. We have to change them to the scale-levels of basemap.at WMTS…

The scale-levels for basemap.at can be defined as a XML-file and imported into QGIS (Import scale-levels button). Be aware to remove the default levels first („-“ button).

Scale-levels XML for basemap.at (Update Feb 2018):

<qgsScales version="1.0">
 <scale value="1:69885300"/>
 <scale value="1:34942600"/>
 <scale value="1:17471300"/>
 <scale value="1:8735660"/>
 <scale value="1:4367830"/>
 <scale value="1:2183920"/>
 <scale value="1:1091960"/>
 <scale value="1:545979"/>
 <scale value="1:272989"/>
 <scale value="1:136495"/>
 <scale value="1:68247"/>
 <scale value="1:34123"/>
 <scale value="1:17061"/>
 <scale value="1:8530"/>
 <scale value="1:4265"/>
 <scale value="1:2132"/>
 <scale value="1:1066"/>
 <scale value="1:533"/>
 </qgsScales>

With the new defined scale-levels you should get a smoother basemap.at and can check the settings at the bottom bar of QGIS in the scale-field:

Default and basemap.at Scale-levels in QGIS

I don’t know why ArcGIS realizes the scale-levels and QGIS does not (normally the levels are in the services metadata). Alternatively you can try the PlugIn „Tile Map Scale“ which addresses the same problem.

Update (Feb. 2018)

Using the option „Smooth pixmap transform“ also does the job well (without defining scale-levels).

Where to find the scale-ranges ?

The scale-ranges are submitted with the capabilities – if you add a WMTS-layer and have a look in the layer properties in QGIS, you will find them: