GIS Symbolization

Traditionally GIS data sets do not contain symbolization.  The symbols and colors are assigned and stored in separate files, and the software makes the correct associations using a Join.

This functional separation is similar to keep programs and data separately on your hard disk.

The KML file from Google Earth breaks this tradition, and includes the symbols directly with the data (it also can mix multiple data sets in the same file, combine raster and vector data, and include multiple vector geometries).  This masking of data complexity and rules follows from the KISS design principle for Google Earth.  The end user also has very little flexibility in changing the symobology, which must be done on a complete layer, or individually by record.

There are perhaps several reasons for including symbolization with data files:

Last revision 11/25/2017