Google Releases KML 2.2 (beta) Documentation

Google mentioned during yesterday’s Where 2.0 presentations that they were releasing an update to the KML specification from version 2.1 to 2.2. The new KML 2.2 (beta) documentation is now available. I’m attending Where, so I don’t have time to go over the documentation in detail. There are some new features in the new version of KML which will enable new capabilities for applications in Google Earth. We may have to wait until a new version of GE is released which supports KML 2.2 before we can begin playing with this stuff. Here’s a few things I’ve noticed so far from the documentation:

  • Cameras – New tags which will enable us to set up a camera in KML so you can rapidly change the camera view to better view the 3D content inside Google Earth.

  • PhotoOverlay – New support for placing photos in the Google Earth scene. Support for different types of projections of photos including spherical panorama photos. Combine this with the camera views and a SpaceNavigator and you’lll have capability to better view photos inside GE. Further, I wonder if this is laying the groundwork for other ways of viewing the new StreetView photos just released for Google Maps.

  • Network Link Session Length – Google has added a parameter for controlling the maximum session length.

  • Placemark Info windows – much better control for href tags for KML/KMZ in info windows – you can force KML/KMZ interpretation for non .kml or .kmz extensions for dynamic fetches, also allows explicit ‘pops’ of other info windows via # reference. This has some very interesting user interaction capabilities – Thanks to Virgil Zetterlind for this item.

  • <resourcemap> in the model tag – would appear to allow for dynamic ‘skinning’ of models – maybe we’re close to the video viewer. Another observation from Virgil – I hope he’s right on this speculation.

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. Man…
    I wanna play with the spherical images. I’ve got some images linked up in html pop-ups, but it would be great to integrate them into GE.
    This view:
    Is based on this image:
    It would be cool if it was just drop-in…

  2. Tdkrinke says:

    Is there an element of the tag that allows you to simply lock the camera on to a specific GPS point? I’m attempting to put together a tour that circles a mountain our fire crew worked on last year but am having difficulty pointing the camera in the right direction. I’m trying to create the tour as if I were the pilot.

Leave a Reply