Okay, how to find this ‘world from space’ projection? The easiest way is to click the little CRS button at the bottom right of the QGIS window, or go via Project > Properties > CRS. Then you just search for it in the CRS search box, as you can see in the screenshot below – where you’ll also see a couple of modified CRS versions I created. Just in case you don’t know, CRS stands for coordinate reference system and they all have an EPSG code so that’s why you’ll see ‘EPSG’ and some numbers. If you’re a proper carto boffin you’ll know your 4326 from your 3347.
|You can see the properties of the projection here|
Okay, so that’s how you set it. How to create a view centred on where you want? For that, you first need to copy a bit of the text in the above box, which I’ve pasted below so you can try it yourself.
First, copy this text:
+proj=ortho +lat_0=42.5333333333 +lon_0=-0.53333333339999 +x_0=0 +y_0=0 +a=6370997 +b=6370997 +units=m +no_defs
Then replace the 42.5333333333 wih the latitude you want and the -0.53333333339999 with the longitude you want. You don’t need so many decimal places! So, for example, I did this for New Zealand and this gives me:
+proj=ortho +lat_0=-40.5333333333 +lon_0=-157.3333333339999 +x_0=0 +y_0=0 +a=6370997 +b=6370997 +units=m +no_defs
You can see by looking at the numbers above that I have centred the projection on 40 degrees south and 157 degrees east. In order to create this new projection you just need to go to Settings > Custom Projections > click the green plus symbol and then at the bottom of the window give your project a name and then paste in your new projection information into the box. See below for what this looks like for my NZ projection.
|Click OK to activate it|
Once you’ve created a new projection you can just go back to Project > Properties > CRS and search for the new projection and use it. This is what the NZ one looks like, below.
|This is not a map without New Zealand|
I mentioned above that you can have a globe view like the above in a Print Layout with a different, flat projection in the main map. This is very easy. See below for an example where I have the globe view projection in the top left and a different projection with the same layers in the bottom of the image – in this case using the Equal Earth projection.
|One Print Layout, two different projections|
|This is where you set the CRS for each map|
|I’ve used Layer Effects to add a drop shadow to the globe|
The only thing I should add is that in order to get the sea showing in the background here – rather than having the land floating on a blank canvas, I took the 1 degree graticule and converted it to a polygon layer via Vector > Geometry Tools > Lines to Polygons…
One last example below, with lots of cities, just for fun.
|Cities are from Natural Earth as well|
That’s all for now. I hope you find this useful.