2007 Wrap-up II: KML is Outta This World

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 1:57:00 PM

A couple of weeks ago, Pamela Fox presented a 2007 wrap-up for the Maps API. So I thought this week, in honor of Pamela's year here, and a pretty amazing year for KML, I'd try to come up with a list of the exciting new developments in KML. It turned out to be pretty easy to do.

KML 2.2 A new version of KML came out in May of 2007, and it included the following new elements:

  • atom:author and atom:link: two new elements to help you do attribution in KML files.
  • Camera: Allows you to position the view point
  • displayMode: A child element of BalloonStyle, allowing you to hide or reveal a description balloon.
  • ExtendedData and SchemaData which allow you to put in your own structured data, type it if you want, and create powerful balloon templating.
  • maxSessionLength: Allows you to control the length of a NetworkLink session.
  • PhotoOverlay: Allows you to create really rich and deep image overlays.
  • ResourceMap: For models, this allows you to move and rename texture files without having to update the original Collada file.

Sky Mode
In the summer, we released Sky in Google Earth. Much of KML is supported in Sky. More details about using KML for Sky can be found in our article "Sky Data in KML."

New Documentation We revamped the KML documentation site, and moved it to code.google.com/apis/kml/. In the process, we created a new series of articles called "Topics in KML" which covers topics like "Time and Animation," "Adding Custom Data," and "Updates." We also added four additional articles outside the core documentation: "Geocoding Addresses for Use in KML", "Using PHP and MySQL to create KML"", "Using KML in Google Mashup Editor" by guest author Valery Hronusov, and "Using Google Pages to Host Your KML."

Google Gives Away KML No, not as in we gave up on KML, but we are releasing it as an open standard. In April of 2007, the Open Geospatial Consortium(OGC) adopted KML 2.1 as a Best Practice. In June of 2007, they updated the Best Practice to KML 2.2. They then started work on finalizing KML 2.2 as an OGC specification. We've been active participants in this process, and when the work is complete the KML specification will no longer be controlled or owned by Google. Basically, as part of our commitment to open standards, Google is giving KML to the world. If you want more info on KML, check out the documentation above, or go to the KML Developer Support forum.