Malleable Musings

July 26, 2009

Playing with KML and Google Maps

Filed under: Google Maps — Brendan @ 11:51 pm

This week I’ve not managed to do that much playing about online. I just haven’t had time in the evenings and then this weekend I’ve not been feeling that great (and I ended up doing some DIY – replacing the taps on the sink, re-turfing the garden today etc). So the only bit of play I’ve managed has been reminding myself a bit about how Google Maps, Yahoo Maps and the Google Data Visualisation tools work.

In the past I’ve used the Google Maps Data Visualisation tools to build things like this.

However what I want to try and do this time around doesn’t seem to fit in to the standard visualisations. I want to display a list of geographic markers containing rich text (which I envision being drawn from a database) as well as some shaded country territories which again have some form of text assigned to each country. It sounds like it should be easy but I still haven’t figured out the best way to do this yet. My current thinking is that my best bet is KML or GeoRSS imported in to Google Maps rather than playing about with the code or going through the API. This is partly because I seem to get things working in the playground that I can’t get to work in the wild.

I’ve found a KML list of rough country boundaries and am testing the files within the KML Interactive Sampler. However I can see that this is going to require a fair bit of manual work, so I keep looking for shortcuts – I’m guessing I’m left wondering how much time I might waste on this and how frequently I might need to update the map.

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