Google Maps and KML Support

Andy Morsell amorsell at
Mon Jun 12 20:18:46 EDT 2006

Holy cow, I'm blown away by this so have to share my excitement with a group
that might care... Google announced support for KML and KMZ in Google Maps
today.  That's right, Google Maps.  See the announcement here:

Based on this, I was able to test it out fairly quickly with some code I had
previously written for streaming MapGuide Open Source data to Google Earth.
It worked pretty well in my initial tests and I am enthused about what this
might mean.  My previous mashup
( of creating Google
Maps placemarks as parcel centroids and overlaying WMS polygon boundaries
works, but can be slow and client intensive.  Using KML may prove to work

To see this in action, open and then copy the
following link into the Search field.

Some problems I immediately ran into:

*	The info window formatting is not completely obeyed.  For instance,
in the KML file the background is bluish with white text.  Google Maps
renders the background as white.
*	Google Maps detects some errors in the KML file that I will have to
sort out.
*	I cannot get KMZ from this code stream to work.  Google Maps says
that it is not valid yet Google Earth does fine with it.  I was able to get
KMZ to work with comparable PHP code so I suspect a problem in the .NET ZIP
libraries I am using that Google Maps doesn't like.  KMZ will be the only
way to go in an application like this due to the 10x file size increase of

Also, there are is no API exposure yet, so I believe we are currently stuck
with the marker and polygon formatting that Google wants.  I hope they
eventually add the ability to override these settings.

All in all, it's pretty cool stuff and I see a lot of potential.

Andy Morsell, P.E.
Spatial Integrators, Inc.

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