Mapflow – QGIS


Mapflow can be used via QGIS. You will need access to the data processing API that to use it (see authorization to work with the Mapflow API).

In the API tab of the profile settings is specified the area limit for processing provided to you (initially 100 km2) and the total area of ​​already completed processing.

What is QGIS

QGIS is the leading and most popular Open Source Desktop GIS. Users can visualize, manage, edit, analyse geodata, and compose printable maps. Get a first impression with a more detailed feature list. Know more on QGIS and istall official site.

QGIS has an interface for external Python plugins that allows to connect more apps and extend core functionallity. Our “Mapflow - QGIS” app enables connection to Mapflow Processing API to run AI-mapping and add output as layers to the QGIS workspace.

How to install the plugin

Click Plugins –> Manage…, go to the Not installed (or All) tab and enter “MapFlow” in the search box. Click Install Plugin. You will be able to see then if the newer version of the app is available (in the Upgradeable tab) and to check the changelog for details.

The plugin icon has appeared in the QGIS Toolbar.


If the icon isn’t automatically displayed, right-click on the Toolbar and check if the Mapflow toolbar is activated.

User interface

You need to log in with your credentials to start using the plugin. Go to, register and obtain API token.

Login window

Login window

Name of the field / button



Enter your API token here.

Log in

User account login button.


Button to close the authorization window.

Mapflow plugin

Main plugin workspace is divided into 3 tabs:

1. Processing

2. Providers

3. Help

1. Processing

Veiw of the processing tab

Processing parameters

Name of the field / button



Name of your processing


The area to be processed. This layer is automatically displayed in the drop-down list from the list of QGIS vector layers, to add new AOI - upload it into QGIS or create a new layer using polygon tool. Select the one of them if the vector layer consists of several polygons.

Mapflow Model

Processing type. In the drop-down list, you can select the following processing types (default list of processing scenarios): Building Detection, Roads Detection, Forest Detection, Forest Detection With Heights, Construction Detection, Fields Detection.

Imagery source

Base imagery to be processed. By default Mapbox is selected, in the drop-down list you can also select satellite images of the MAXAR company. You can open your image through the additional options button.

Update image in cache

This function allows you to update the processing image in the cache if the area of ​​the previous processing is used in this processing with the replacement of the background.

Processing area

Automatic calculation of the area of ​​the selected processing area.

Use image extent

This area becomes active if processing is performed on the .tif file. Allows you not to create an additional vector layer processing area for this image but takes its extent.

Start processing

New processing start button. You will see a notification about the successful start of processing, or about incorrectly selected parameters after clicking it. It will appear in the block for displaying and working with processing after a successful start of processing.

Log out

Sign out of the user’s billing record.


Button for deleting previously performed processing from the processings list.

Start processings and display the output on the map

Name of the field / button



Processing name.


User-selected processing type in the Mapflow model field.


Processing status: IN_PROGRESS, OK, FAILED.


The degree of completeness of processing as a percentage.


The date-time of the processing creation.

To download the processing results, double-click on the completed processing.

2. Providers

Veiw of the providers tab

Name of the field / button


Output directory

Path to the directory into which the processing result will be loaded.

Additional sources of images

Drop-down list with additional satellite imagery providers.

“Add” button

Button for adding a source of satellite images.

“Delete” button

Button for deleting the source of satellite images.

“Edit” button

Button for changing the parameters of the source of satellite images.


A button to preview the background of the specified satellite imagery and geospatial provider.

Max zoom

Zoom number is selected by default to exclude the consumption of paid traffic for preview (Relevant if connected to Maxar SecureWatch).


You can define your own source of data in XYZ format. Here is the example:{z}/{x}/{y}

Check for free aerial images and try XYZ links at Open aerial Map.

Maxar SecureWatch settings

Name of the field / button



Login / Password credentials for your SecureWatch account. If you are not using your SecureWatch account or Mapflow Premium, the zoom number is limited up to 13, but you can get metadata and preview the satellite imagery on the map.


The area for which metadata will be presented.

Get metadata

Use to collect metadata for the selected area. After clicking it, a list will be shown with all the images intersecting with your selected area of processing.

3. Help

The tab contains all useful links about this plugin.

How to connect to Maxar SecureWatch


SecureWatch is a service that provides global access to high-resolution satellite images and imagery basemaps from the world leader in remote sensing, MAXAR, through the subscription model. The spatial resolution of images varies in the range from 30 cm to 1 m. All images are accompanied by metadata, including information about the acquisition date and time, cloud cover etc. In our application we implemented the special interface to connect to this service and use imagery via Mapflow’s processings pipelines.

  • Use of embedded Maxar SecureWatch for image processing by Mapflow

    On the Processing tab, in the Remote sensing data drop-down list, select the required Maxar product (SecureWatch, Vivid or Basemaps), specify all processing parameters and click the Start processing.

  • Maxar preview

    1. Select the required Maxar product in the drop-down list on the Data sources tab;

    2. Select your AOI in the Area drop-down list and click on the Get Metadata.

    3. Double click on the selected image in the search results (or click Preview button) to add it on the map.


In the free tariff plan the Max zoom is limited up to 13 and processing cannot be started using SecureWatch. If you want to use this data provider - you have to switch to the Premium tariff plan - pls request us at

  • Using your SecureWatch account for image processing by the Mapflow

    1. Open the block Authorization on the Providers tab and enter Login / Password from your Maxar SecureWatch account;

    2. Select the Maxar SecureWatch from the drop-down list above;

    3. Click Edit button and enter your Connect ID. Click the OK after.


    How to find out your Connect ID:

    1. Go to SecureWatch.

    2. In the title bar, select your name, then select View Profile. The User Profile dialog box will open.

    3. Copy your Current Connect ID.

    Your user profile in SecureWatch

    The Connect ID is different for each product you have in your SecureWatch subscription. Therefore, initially choose the one that suits you. To do this, close the User Profile window and in the title bar select the required of the two suggested mosaics (Vivid and SecureWatch) by clicking on the name of one of them.

    1. Click Preview.

Now the Maxar layer is available for preview in your raster layers list and for the AI-mapping processing using Mapflow.

How to find and process the image by Feature ID using Maxar SecureWatch

You can use SW to discover avaialble images for you area of interest.

  1. Go to the Providers tab.

  2. Select Maxar SecureWatch from the dropdown list.

  3. In the Maxar SecureWatch option select the vector layer with the boundary of your area of interest.


You have to create the new one area (Layer -> Create layer -> …, select Polygon as a geometry type, in the created layer using the tool Add polygon feature draw an area of ​​interest) or to upload from the file with coordinates using QGIS. If there is more than one polygon in the file, select with the tool Select object(s) the polygon you need. For more information on creating and working with vector layers, see the QGIS User Guide.

Get specific image from SW
  1. Get metadata, to view meta-data of all avaialble images intesecting your AOI.

  2. Select the prteferable image from the meta-data list or use the WFS generated vector layer (WFS_temp) to search through more attributes.


Imagery metadata is saved in the form of vector layer. You can interact with its Attribute Table searching through all attributes.

  1. Click Preview to view the selected image in the form of new raster layer (or double-clicking on the row in the table).


“max zoom 13” checkbox is active to prevent the paid streaming on the side of SecureWatch.

How to use other imagery services

Click on the Add in the Data source tab and enter the appropriate data in the opened window.

Custom imagery service

Name of the field / button



Name of other imagery data provider


URL of the imagery data provider


Data source type. You can enter your custom imagery source URL in one of the following formats: XYZ, TMS, WMS, Quadkey. All formats represent the most widely used protocols to fetch georeferenced imagery via HTTP (see source_type).

How to process your own imagery

You can upload your own GeoTIFF. All raster layers currently loaded in your QGIS are visible in the drop-down list and can be selected for upload. Opening files from the Additional options button also adds it to the list of QGIS layers with a choice.

Upload TIF, select from list


You should follow the requirements specified on the page with Models reference when uploading your own images for processing through the API of the Mapflow platform. You can use our preprocessing script to convert your data to 8 bit. Make sure that your imagery is georeferenced in GEORGAPHIC or PROJECTED coordinate system.

Send a request using data preprocessing to