Heat Map of KML and GeoRSS of the Earth

Heat Map of Geo Search in Google EarthBarry Hunter has blogged about how he recently attended OpenStreetMap‘s first conference called “State of the Map“. What I found interesting was a slide Barry saw that was presented by Ed Parsons (who was formerly with the UK’s Ordinance Survey, and now works for Google). Ed presented a slide (click on the thumbnail above for a bigger picture) which shows a heat map of all the places found in KML and GeoRSS posts which have been indexed by Google’s Geo Search engine. I think this is a very cool image! Notice that you can already clearly see the shapes of the continents just from all the placemarks in the search index. As Google gets better at searching geospatial information – and more people mark things – this map should more accurately reperesent the Earth. I think Google should publish a network link image overlay of this heat map in Google Earth.
Barry believes he knows why the UK is the hottest spot (in terms of geo-located information) – Barry manages the Geograph UK site which is trying to geotag photos of every square unit of the british isles. He says about 300,000 of the 600,000 KML files he has published are in the Google index. Read more about Geograph. Barry also has an excellent web site Nearby.co.uk with useful tools for Google Earth and Maps.

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. I should perhaps add that this image is from early June (IIRC).

  2. I’ve been trying to find a way to generate a KML heat map for ever. Do you know if they published the means they used to generate this?

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