The file format developed initially for Google Earth to exchange geographic information and mapping presentations is now an international standard. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) will now take control over the KML standard. Here’s Google’s comments on the KML file format:
KML was originally created as a file format for Google Earth, allowing users to overlay their own content on top of our base maps and imagery. It’s since become something much larger — KML has become the HTML of geographic content, the dominant way to share user-created maps online. There are now tens of millions of KML files available online, hosted on more than 100,000 unique domain names. KML is supported by a large and growing number of vendors and products, and can no longer simply be described as Google Earth’s file format. Because it has transcended Google Earth in scope, and even outgrown Google itself, we have decided to give it away.
I know the Google team have been working hard to develop KML features and documentation, and working with the OGC over the course of the past few years to make this a standard. It’s a testament to their hard work, the support of millions of users of KML, and the support of many companies participating in the OGC that this standard has been accepted.
via Google Lat Long. Also, see CNET news article.