Archive for the ‘KML’ Category

Resurrecting the Google KML Embed and Tour Gadgets

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Long time since posted here, but just wanted somewhere to record links to these tools:

Fake KML Embed Gadget

and

Fake KML Tour Gadget

They are replicas of the KML Gadgets that Google used to offer (they disappeared with the demise of iGoogle). Was able to save the code and get them working again, if you already have embeds on your site, should just be able to make a small change to the code to get the gadgets working again – more detailed instructions the above pages.

Preservation of the Google Maps Directory

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Recently Google deprecated Mapplets, which are little applications that ran on Google Maps. They have also now removed the Google Maps Directory.

However its still possible to run mapplets by a dedicated page (well at least for as long as V2 of the Google Maps API exists) – but no listing of mapplets available within Google Maps.


But fear not, I captured a copy of the mapplet list, and created a small crawler to fetch the details from the mapplets, and present them in a little searchable application:

Replacement Mapplet Directory

Admittedly the quality of the applications in the directory where always kinda variable, but there is some real gems in there, so at least preserving a listing I think is worthwhile, so they can be accessed if needbe.

UK Onshore geology maps 1:50 000 scale in Google Earth

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

The BGS recently publised the Geology of Britain website, which makes available a Geological map of Great Britain online in an interactive Map Viewer. They make available a 1:625 000 scale layer for Google Earth, and a the 1:50 000 scale version via WMS only.

Unfortunatly the WMS doesnt play nicely in Google Earth for some reason, so here is a hand tuned Google Earth layer to display the 1:50 000 scale Geological Maps:

http://gokml.net/2sc.kml

Enjoy!

Google powers your GeoDatabase

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Update: Dec 16th, Offical Blog post is out. And just for interest a TechCrunch post too.

Sometime recently* Google has added ‘geo-filtering’ and attribute filtering to the Google Maps Data API, I haven’t seen any announcement of this or other mention (if it was, it was below my radar), other than a tiny footnote in an Article about doing geo-queries on AppEngine.

Anyway for people not aware of the Google Maps Data API, its basically a programmatic access method to the ‘My Maps’ feature of Google Maps. So with the API you can use Google Maps as your Geo-Database. (Subject I believe to a limit of 10,000 features per ‘Map’, but can have many maps)

However it wasn’t all that useful, as all you could do was inject your data, or read it all back. But now that searching and filtering is possible, it makes the API a viable method store your data for a Google Maps API or similar mashup. As soon as you get beyond a trival number of markers, you need to store your data in a database, and being able to only fetch the features in the current viewport is a good way of only working with a small subset at once.

Curouslly, there doesn’t seem to be a ‘limit’; so a big bounding box, could potentially still access many features. But hopefully that will be rectified soon.
Update2: Seems there is a max-results : handy!

Geocube Geograph Clusters in Google Earth – part 2

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Now ready with the next version of the Geograph Google Earth Clusters layer mentioned yesterday.

Google Earth Layer Geograph Google Earth Clusters

It’s the same download link, if you already have a copy, just right click and select Refresh on the “Geograph Google Earth Clusters” feature.

This has a number of advancements:

  • Filterable – click the main title in the Places panel to open configuration options in the popup balloon. Includes options to filter by keyword or Geograph contributor. (Requires Google Earth version 5)
  • Cubes/Cloud – Geocubes offers two clustering options, can how choose between then on the same popup as above
  • Thumbnails – Now shows a image thumbnail in the placemark balloons.
  • Shows a few coarse clusters when not zoomed on the British Isles
  • Source code available! Download the GPL licenced PHP source code here

But its not all rosey – this version seems to suffer from an annoying bug, when first loads sometimes the layer ‘freezes’ and doesnt automatically update as you move around. If that happens right click on the ‘Clusters’ feature in ‘Places’ and select Refresh, doing that once seems to fix it!

Thanks to Geocubes to the amazing service that powers this – highly recommended if you have larger numbers of features to display!

Geocube Geograph Clusters in Google Earth

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

It’s about time did some Google Earth hacking, so thanks to the people at Geocubes, have made a new interactive layer for Google Earth.

Geograph Google Earth Clusters

This works in a similar way to the Geograph SuperLayer, by showing coverage overview, and then zooming in to reveal more detail. The Geocubes layer has the advantage that the clusters work into a closer zoom, and updates to the geograph database make it into the layer within hours. The SuperLayer is slower updating (weeks), but navigating should be much quicker being as its based on KML regions.

You can view also a Google Maps based version of the layer, using the Geocubes API directly.

This is only version 0.1 – there is more to be done – including being able to filter the results based on words and contributor, but this is exciting enough on its own. Once done a bit of work on tidying up the code plan to release it so others can use the geocubes service to create their own layer like this :) Watch this space!

Google indexes ‘Related Maps’ aka GeoRSS feeds

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Just stumbled on this today, and not seen it noted anywhere yet, but (recently?) Google has exposed its index of ‘Related Maps’ on Google Maps.

If you open the ‘Show Search Options’ option, there is an entry ‘Related Maps’ – this mainly seems to be GeoRSS feeds its found out in the wild, but does include maps from ‘My Maps’, but strangely not KML files (which are mostly indexed in User-Created Content I guess)

Oh and if you where wondering, yes did find this when checking something out on geograph. (Note the link at the top to view Related Maps)

Still waiting for the day when we get good access to Googles GeoIndex, the AJAX Search API gives very limited (32 results max, and no urls! oh and doesnt include all the options included in the ‘options’ dropdown on Google Maps either), feels so this data could/should be exposed more?

MGRS coordinate entry

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Prompted by one of those infernal* posts on a Google Maps group, have finally been inspired to cobble together a MGRS -> Lat/Long conversion. It seems trvial, the UTM->MGRS conversion is quite simple, but there are a few gotchas!, so after much puzzleing over some C code from GeoTrans (and Trial&Error for good measure!), I think** have something working.

Anyway try it out here: 

Coordinate Flyto for Google Earth/Maps

also added today is a tickbox to open the result direct in Google Maps (rather than Google Earth). 

I’ll tidy it up and post the code, which is based on the PHPcoord conversion class, incase others have a use. I’ll also add it to the API – and possibly even back port it into Perl for use on the on site coordinate covertor. 

Finally possibly of interest is the realisation that the MGRS Google Earth Gridlines layer, will actully load directly in Google Maps, so:

MGRS Gridlines in Google Maps

the lines should update a few seconds after dragging/zooming. Ideally will suppress the big blue pins (which are show as numbers in GE) , but not tonight…

 

 

* in the nicest possible sence!

** I tested it by converting utm->mgrs->utm globally on a worldwide 1 degree grid – all check out with absolute precision.

Between a rock and a hard place…

Monday, December 8th, 2008

This is going to be a long and rambley piece about licences and the updated updated Terms of Service of the Google Maps API – if either of those don’t interest you turn away now :)

Not that long ago Google updated the Terms of Service on Google Maps API – I guess mainly in responce to issues brought up on the Mail group, and elsewhere. As a result of that edit there where many concerns raised (and more)- and a further edit was made. (note, only linked to some of the blogs etc – follow links to read more) This was over a week ago, but due to non online commitments haven’t really had a time to follow this up. You can read my early reaction here, which has been edited in to Mikes post.


Below is the main section that is still causing concern, quoted in its entirety:

11. Licenses from You to Google.

11.1 Content License. Google claims no ownership over Your Content, and You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Your Content. By submitting, posting or displaying Your Content in the Service, you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute Your Content through the Service and as search results through Google Services. This license is solely for the purpose of enabling Google to operate the Service, to promote the Service (including through public presentations), and to index and serve such content as search results through Google Services. If you are unable or unwilling to provide such a license to Your Content, please see the FAQ for information on configuring your Maps API Implementation to opt out.

11.2 Brand Features License. You grant to Google a nontransferable, nonexclusive license during the Term to use Your Brand Features to advertise that you are using the Service.

11.3 Authority to Grant Licenses. You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above licenses.

To be honest still unsure how I feel about this section, and finding it very hard to vocalise (well to put to pixels) the concerns. I certain its not compatible with a number of situations where the Maps would otherwise be ideal, but that I guess is real life – just need to move on an find something that is more suitable. But its still gauling to have invested so much in Google Maps API to have it all disappear in puff of legal smoke, I guess its now going to be“Once Burnt, Twice Shy” as they say.

(more…)

Content on Google somehere, somehow?

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

I don’t know if anyone is interested in this stuff, but have been for a long time being trying to make sence of the various ‘geo’ properties operated by Google and quite a bit on how to get indexed and exposure for your content.

Update: There has been some misconception about what this diagram represents – it is only intended to cover getting content in KML/KMZ files on your website listed and indexed in Google Properties. It’s sort of murky in that content you submit to other websites are sort of included to show they end up in various indexes. It does not cover business listings at all which for the most part is sepetate totally. 

 

GeoIndex Overview Diagram

GeoIndex Overview Diagram

Links for the purple circles:

  1. http://www.nearby.org.uk/gadget-for-kml.php
  2. http://code.google.com/apis/kml/documentation/kmlSearch.html
  3. http://maps.google.com/ig/submit?synd=mpl&pid=mpl
  4. http://earth.google.com/submit.html
  5. http://maps.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=68480
  6. http://earth.google.com/gallery/index.html
  7. http://www.panoramio.com/help#about_GE
  8. http://bbs.keyhole.com/

probably incomprehensible, but hopefully useful to someone? Questions or feedback welcome.

Update: notable perhaps for its exclusion, is Outreach – Oops, version 2 perhaps?