KML Overview

KML (Keyhole Markup Language) is the data format used by Google Earth Pro and Google Maps.  Google maps has a published API, and supports a subset of the KML used by Google Earth Pro.  KML files can include both vector and raster data.  While at one point Google Earth existed in both regular and pro versions, now only the pro version is supported.

If you have trouble with Google Earth Pro download in one browser (e.g. Chrome) try another (e.g. Edge).

KML is an open standard of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).  KML can include both raster and vector data, and the file includes symbolization.  KML files are like HTML, and only contains links to icons and raster layers. 

A KMZ file combines the images with the KML into a single zipped file. KMZ files are better because the lossless compression decreases file sizes, although only slightly, and because they make it impossible to separate and lose required image files. Even if someone tells you they want a KML file, you should send a KMZ.  This saves you from separating the images from the KML file, and saves you the blame when the recipient separates them.

Before you start exporting maps to Google Earth, you should clean out the "My Places" and "Temporary Places" folders in  Google Earth.  Right click on each folder and pick "Delete Contents".  Delete any layers you export and do not want; otherwise you are likely to wind up with a very disorganized mess of layers.  In Google Earth you can rename layers by right clicking on them; you can changes the symbols by right clicking, and picking properties, and then "style, color".

At one point in time, if you clicked on one of the links to an online KML/KMZ file, it would download and automatically open in Google Earth.  This does not appear to happen any longer, likely for "security" reasons (security is the opposite of usability).  Instead, the file will download and wait for you.



Register imagery with Google Earth and KML files to get points  KML export map image 
KML import of points into database  KML database export for Google earth. 
Digitize in Google Earth Tile and export scanned maps to Google Earth using Delauney triangulation.

Convert KML file to shapefiles to use

Put HTML into KML display--text and pictures.
KML ground overlays Time animations.  

Example setting up database for time animations.

  Clean up KML exports and save KML/KMZ within Google Earth

Grid or graticule.  This can be labeled.

  Legend: place legend in the lower or upper left corner of the screen.
  Insert icons from filter file--get symbols based on database field.
  Earthquake focal mechanisms

KML Gallery. Samples of KML output from MICRODEM displayed in Google Earth.

Google Earth Pro Controls.

Display of KML exports will only work if you have installed Google Earth, or another program that can display KML/KMZ files, and associated that program with KML/KMZ file extensions.  MICRODEM is designed for personal home use and educational use, for which Google Earth should be free.  Commercial use of Google Earth will likely require paying for a license.

KML export options can be set on Web tab of options form, brought up from Options program menu selection.

Create point KML file (Excel to MICRODEM to Google Earth)

Google Earth data files

Problems opening KML/KMZ files

Alternative: ArcGIS Earth

Last revision 10/9/2019