Google Maps API adds KML and GeoRSS Support

Google Maps has added some cool new formats to their API, KML and GeoRSS. Currently, they support points, lines, polygons, styles, icons, and network links (without view-based refresh) in the KML files, and they will be adding ground overlays, screen overlays, folders, and visibility soon. More information can be found in the Google Maps API documentation. So now you can create a KML file using Google Earth and load it up in Google Maps, so you can see exactly where they are.

To start we now support GeoRSS as a data format for geographic content in Google Maps. We want to enable users to create data in whatever format is most convenient for them, and feel that by supporting both KML and GeoRSS we can enable a wider variety of people and applications to contribute content to Google Maps. We’ve built support for the Simple, GML, and W3C Geo encodings of GeoRSS — all you have to do is enter the full URL of a GeoRSS file into the Maps query box to load the file. For example, take a look at SlashGeo’s GeoRSS on Google Maps.

Most importantly, we’ve extended support for displaying geographic data — both KML and GeoRSS — into the Google Maps API. Now in addition to programatically adding content to a Maps API site, you can create your content as KML or GeoRSS and load it into the Map with a simple function call. This means that the more than 1 million KML files that are available from all over the web can easily be mashed up with the map on your site. For example, you can add some vacation photos from Japan with the following code:

var gx = new GGeoXml(“http://kml.lover.googlepages.com/my-vacation-photos.kml”);
map.addOverlay(gx);

This makes it easier for API sites to maintain content in a flexible format that can be accessed via the API or in a number of other tools directly, and makes it simpler to create a rich API site with declarative content, instead of a lot of code. Source: KML and GeoRSS Support Added to the Google Maps API

The O’reilly Radar site, says this will help KML become an OGC standard, and they expect Google to soon accept GeoRSS as a layer, and that they will probably start showing up in Google Earth’s web search.

Additionally, KML is on its way to becoming an OGC standard (and as you can see from this Slashgeo poll it’s a popular idea). It’s great for them to begin accepting this other OGC standard as they begin that process.

I expect this means that GeoRSS will be accepted as a Google Earth layer soon and that GeoRSS will start showing up in Google Earth’s Web Search. This would provide even further incentive content sites to join the likes of Flickr (as an aside compare with Flickr’s map feature with a Google Map consuming the same feed – I think Flickr’s is cleaner, but it does not have Google’s flexibility) and Upcoming by exporting in GeoRSS (as if today’s announcement wasn’t enough). WordPress bloggers can start using the GeoPress plugin (Radar post) right away (I already do on the Ignite Seattle blog — it’s very easy to use). Source: Google is Supporting GeoRSS

Lots of stuff coming out for Google Earth lately, be sure to check some of the other articles below.