New Features of GE4/KML 2.1

3D Trees in Google EarthBrian Flood, author of the Arc2Earth extension for ArcGIS, has written an excellent white paper describing the new features and some possible applications of the new KML 2.1 in combination with GE4. In his write-up about the new texture mapping, he describes a live updating texture of a stock graph shown on the side of a building. Could this mean we might start seeing animated textures, or even video? Brian also describes the new feature which allows replicated models without requiring a huge KML file. This means you could create a forest of trees with just one tree model.
In my opinion, the most interesting new feature Brian describes is new KML functionality allowing more efficient network links. In the past it was necessary to reload all data for each update of a live network link. It is now possible to selectively update only the data needed. This should greatly enhance future live network link applications!

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. The Collada file format supports animation and (I think) animated textures, so in theory this could be possible in the future. It’s not in GE4 right now. The trick shown in the post mentioned above involves 2 models and relies on the minimum refresh rate available in GE, which is way to slow for animation. Its good for cycling over images though…

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