What is KML?

What is KML?

KML is a file format used to display geographic data in an earth browser, such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Maps for mobile. A KML file is processed in much the same way that HTML (and XML) files are processed by web browsers. Like HTML, KML has a tag-based structure with names and attributes used for specific display purposes. Thus, Google Earth and Maps act as browsers for KML files.

You can use KML to:

  • Specify icons and labels to identify locations on the planet surface
  • Create different camera positions to define unique views for each of your features
  • Use image overlays attached to the ground or screen
  • Define styles to specify feature appearance
  • Write HTML descriptions of features, including hyperlinks and embedded images
  • Use folders for hierarchical grouping of features
  • Dynamically fetch and update KML files from remote or local network locations
  • Fetch KML data based on changes in the 3D viewer
  • Display COLLADA textured 3D objects