What is KML?

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What is KML?
KML stands for Keyhole Markup Language and is mainly used for displaying geographic information on web and/or Earth browsing tools like Google Earth or Google Maps. KML as a markup language is based on XML and is interpreted by web browsers similarly to basic HTML codes. Similar to HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language, KML also involves tags and codes with specific display purposes.

KML coding includes a “PlaceMark” which has several properties. One such property is “”. This basically specifies where to “look at” on the Earth browser. Similarly “” refers to a point on the Earth or map where a specific target or place is located. “” involves options for the PlaceMark to be viewable or not. But other than its use as representations for geographical data, KML may also be used in expressing the styling rules for the object’s graphical counterparts through the “” element. This particular element is quite limited though in terms of giving specifications to the visual properties of lines, texts, points, and other geometric elements.

With Google Earth and Google Maps as the main Earth browser, KML is the tool used in identifying labels or icons that correspond to specific locations on the earth or map browser. KML also allows for the creation of different camera angles when viewing features and details of a particular landscape or map. Image overlays are also possible with KML and these are attached to the screen or to the ground. One can also type in descriptions and specifications in HTML format and these may also include embedding image files and hyperlinks. KML also supports for feature hierarchy, so details may be put on specific folders for proper grouping.

KML files created on desktops and laptops may now also be viewed using mobile phones and devices. Through Google Maps for mobile, a particular user can mark locations and put specifications on it using KML. This makes for a very convenient mobile application, especially for people always on the go.

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