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”);
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.
Is this one of those duh huh moments for Google? They have finally given us the ability to search the Google Earth program itself for KML files. KML is a file format used to display geographic data in the Google Earth browser. KML uses a tag-based structure with nested elements and attributes and is based on the XML standard. This is great new feature. After you search, it displays the results in the left panel and you can click away until your hearts content, or you can search for something else. Click the following link to grab Google Earth and many other free programs from Google.
Search is at the heart of everything we do here at Google. That’s why I’m excited to announce a new innovation in search available today in Google Earth. Users can now search through all of the world’s Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files, making the millions of Google Earth layers on the Web instantly accessible for geobrowsing and exploration. Last month, we encouraged you, our Maps API users, to create KML site maps for your mashups. Today’s launch is the next step towards making those sitemaps – and all of the world’s geographic information – discoverable by users worldwide.
To try it out, just start up Google Earth, zoom to a location of interest, and type in a search query. For example, go to New Zealand, and search for “Lord of the Rings.” You’ll see the KML results below the local results in the search panel on the left hand side. Source: Search for KML in Google Earth
You can even type a location and then search for something special around that area, such as Hawaii and Volcano, or Rome and Coliseum, and then scroll down to the KML results, then click a green sphere and the link from the bubble that opens, to see the KML file, if there is one available.
The latest version of Google Earth has come out of beta, version 4 has added higher-quality terrain data for many mountainous regions, they have added support for textured 3D buildings, which just means that bricks look like bricks and glass looks like glass, giving it a more real world look. This is just the latest step in bringing you a true 3D world model of planet Earth. Download the latest version of Google Earth by clicking this link
Google Earth is much more than just a mapping software. It’s a tool for viewing, creating and sharing location-specific information which can be explored in an interactive and visually intuitive interface. Below are examples KML (Google Earth file format) files created by users and organizations around the world, viewable in Google Earth.
United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) includes successive time-stamped images illustrating 100 areas of extreme environmental degradation around the world.
Discovery Networks World Tour enables you to take a virtual tour of major world landmarks, cities, and natural wonders through Google Earth.
Jane Goodall Institute you can visit Flirt and the other Gombe preserve chimpanzees and follow their daily exploits with the Institute’s “geo-blog” in Google Earth.
National Geographic this features articles, pictures, live webcams and more around the world from National Geographic.
Tracks 4 Africa – Community generated map data across part of Africa along with photographs and interesting snippets about various places.
Spotlight on Africa – Flags and snippets of information about the 53 sovereign nations of Africa
Rumsey Historical Maps – Historical maps around the world spanning from year 1680 to 1892, including a Map of Africa from 1787.
European Space Agency More satellite imagery of beautiful places and phenomena around the world .
Here are some of the KMZ files you can click on to open special content in Google Earth.
Panormino A huge collection of shared photos from around the world.
Earth Booker Global discounts on hotels.
CBS Seismic Monitor Display of real-time, worldwide earthquakes.
Placeopedia Collection of Wikipedia articles with their places.
Booking.com European hotel reservation service.
Google 3D Warehouse 3D buildings and other 3D content created and shared by Google Sketchup users.
NASA Blue Marble Animation showing complete view of the Earth for every month of the year.
London Growth 3D models showing a timeline of the 60 tallest structures built since 1950s in London.
Geography Awareness Quiz How much do you know about Africa? Test yourself with an interactive Google Earth quiz from My Wonderful World.
Wirefly X PRIZE Cup 2006 See the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup site in 3D on Google Earth, as well as landmarks of space-exploration.
Da Vinci Code Tour Real-life locations of note described in a little-known, obscure book/movie called “the Da Vinci Code”.
Discovery Discovery Channel video tours of landmarks, cities, national parks, and scenic wonders.
Turn Here Free city video guides for travel, restaurants, hotels, local events and music.
Gombe Chimpanzee Follow the life of chimpanzees and conservation efforts in Gombe National Park, Tanzania.
And many more Google Earth Layers available from around the web. Download Google Earth by clicking this banner
Added: Just wanted to make sure everyone remembered they could use Google Earth to show thier kids where Santa was on Christmas eve. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.
Here is a great new layer for Google Earth, you can find presents hidden all over the Google Earth program, and you can track Santa Claus on December 24th with it. How cool is that? Now you won’t have to look at some stupid radar screen with a dumb outline of Santa’s sleigh on the evening news, now you can actually track Santa Claus kids!
First, you need to download Google Earth by clicking this link, , Google Earth comes as part of the Google Pack, with loads of other software, you can select or de-select whichever ones you want, then you need to get the kml file here. More detailed instructions are available here.
Hello boys and girls. Ready to find some toys? Santa has hidden a treasure trove of presents somewhere in Google Earth (actually, it was a few of his elves, but you get the idea) . Every day from December 12th until Christmas Eve, a clue will appear outside Santa’s North Pole workshop which, if you can solve it, will lead you to a toy hidden in a Google Earth satellite image. And every day, the location of the previous day’s toy will be revealed.
On December 24th, Santa will load his sleigh, take the reins and soar into the skies, delivering presents to good children all over the world. And now you can follow his fabled flight. First, you must download the latest version of Google Earth. Then download the Santa Tracker/Toy Hunt file. You’re done! [tag]Google Earth[/tag] will automatically refresh each day. What are you waiting for? Source: Google
This looks really cool, I will have to get some hot chocolate so the kids and I can bask in the glow of our computer monitors while we watch Santa head our way. Find other layers by clicking here Google Earth Layers.
Google just updated their blog, with this post,
As you know, every Christmas Eve Santa Claus gets busy on his tricked-out sleigh, soaring around the globe to deliver presents to (presumably deserving) children the world over. This year, even if you don’t have a reindeer team of your own, you can use the Google Earth Santa Tracker.
All kinds of great stuff is available for Google Earth, case in point, how about some do it yourself mapping. GPS Visualizer allows you to input GPS data, street addresses or simple coordinates and it will output a picture of the trip. So, for example, you could input your drive to the beach next summer and print it out, or say you are going on a big trip, you can plot each point and see where you have been. This is pretty cool. First, as always, you need Google Earth, click this link, , to download it, it is part of the Google Pack containing all kinds of great and free software, download it all, or just Google Earth if you’d like. Then, click this link to the Google Earth KML file, and you are ready to start. This would be great for geocachers, they could plot all of the spots they have visited and print out a map of it, might be a good idea for a little surprise if you know someone who is.
GPS Visualizer is a free, easy-to-use online utility that creates maps and profiles from GPS data (tracks and waypoints), street addresses, or simple coordinates. Use it to see where you’ve been, plan where you’re going, or visualize geographic data (business locations, scientific observations, events, customers, real estate, geotagging, etc.).
GPS Visualizer can read data files from many different sources, including but not limited to: GPX, OziExplorer, Geocaching.com (.loc), IGC sailplane logs, Garmin Forerunner (.xml/.hst), Timex Trainer (v1.3+), Cetus GPS, PathAway, cotoGPS, CompeGPS, TomTom (.pgl), IGN Rando (.rdn), Emtac Trine, Suunto X9/X9i (.sdf), NetStumbler/WiFiFoFum, and of course tab-delimited or comma-separated text.
GPS Visualizer can draw maps in SVG, JPEG/PNG, and Google Maps format, and can also create map overlays and KML files for Google Earth. For non-Google maps, JPEGs are easier to deal with, but SVGs are interactive — to view them, make sure you’ve installed Adobe’s free SVG Viewer plug-in. Source: GPS Visualizer
Here is the link to some more Google Earth Layers.