Monday, November 19, 2007

About KML / KMZ files

What is KML/KMZ files?
These file formats are associated with Google Earth and they are used for storing geographic data like placemarks, paths etc. KML stands for Keyhole Markup Language. If you don’t know yet, Keyhole was the name of the application before Google bought it from Keyhole Inc.

KMZ are nothing but KML-Zipped.

KML files can be created either using Google Earth’s user interface or using any XML editor or even notepad provided you are familiar with XML and KML syntax and structure.

Below is a basic KML sample from the Google KML documentation












The structure of this file breaks down as follows:
• An XML header. This is line 1 in every KML file. No spaces or other characters can appear before this line.
• A KML namespace declaration. This is line 2 in every KML 2.2 file.
• A Placemark object that contains the following elements:
o A name that is used as the label for the Placemark
o A description that appears in the "balloon" attached to the Placemark
o A Point that specifies the position of the Placemark on the Earth's surface (longitude, latitude, and optional altitude)

More information about KML/KMZ file formats, syntax and development of KML/KMZ can be found at

KML Support Forum
http://groups.google.com/group/kml-support

KML Documentation
http://code.google.com/apis/kml/documentation/

Using PHP and MySQL to create KML
http://code.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=69906&topic=11367

Google Earth KML Styling Guide
http://docs.codehaus.org/display/GEOSDOC/02+Google+Earth+KML+Styling+Guide



KML Resources:

NorthGates' KML Editor:
Create Google Earth Places using a powerful HTML editor for the Snippet (the text found under a folder or placemark) and for the Description (the text that will appear in the balloon).
http://www.northgates.ca/KMLEditor/

KaMeLwriter:
KaMeLwriter is a KML editor that allows you to create and manage KML files for Google Earth, using a simple graphical layout. A major feature of KaMeLwriter is its ability to link data from Excel spreadsheets when editing KML files. As a result, a very simple KaMeLwriter file can be used to manage many thousands of placemarks, network links and other features of Google Earth and Google Maps.
http://www.kamelwriter.com/

Export a GoogleEarth KML file to CSV output:
http://snippets.dzone.com/posts/show/1765

GE-Graph
Make graph into Google Earth from KML files to illustrate your presentations, papers, etc
http://www.sgrillo.net/googleearth/gegraph_2_2_1.zip

Validate your KML (Online or Offline!)
http://googlemapsapi.blogspot.com/2007/06/validate-your-kml-online-or-offline.html

KML Importer (Imports placemarks into NASA World Wind)
http://www.worldwindcentral.com/wiki/Add-on:KMLImporter

Online Google Earth KML Creator
Use this simple Google Earth KML Creator to create a KML file from latitude/longitude or address/zip combinations. You can also choose the name, description, icon to display as well as other settings.
http://www.andrewdavidson.com/google-earth-kml-creator/

Google Earth KMZ / KML to GPS converter
Converts Waypoints, Routes and Tracks from Google Earth to a GPS compatible format in a few steps.
http://www.mcrenox.com.ar/ge2gpx/


Download KML/KMZ files:
Want to visit some of the coolest places on earth just by opening a KML/MKZ file, well the websites below features thousands of KML files which you can download and view in Google Earth.

http://www.kmzlinks.com/
http://www.googleearthcoolplaces.com/
http://earth.google.com/sites/
http://www.bestofworldmaps.com/
http://www.panoramio.com/kml
http://www.manybirds.com/googleearth.htm
http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/SolarEclipsesGoogleEarth.html

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