GIS Data for Canary Islands in Google Earth

Canary Islands GIS in Google EarthThe Canary Islands Spatial Data Infrastructure (IDE in Spanish) has released Google Earth access to some of its geographic data. Right now you can get multiple zoom levels of detail for Topographic Maps 1:5.000, Streetmaps, Vegetation Map, Land Use Map and Protected Areas Map. And, they plan to add more maps in the coming months. The maps were posted at the Google Earth Community by Jorge Rosales. You can download the Canary Islands maps here . As you zoom in, more information will be queried from their server and then drawn as an overlay in Google Earth. The default map is the topographical map. You can look under the IDECanarias folder for other maps to view. Very nice data!
I’m a big fan of seeing GIS (Geographic Information System) data like this made available to the public. Many governments have either been reluctant, or have not had the funding, to make this type of data available to the public. The data has not always been easy to convert to new formats. Recently, the top GIS software manufacturer – ESRI – has made an update to their software which makes it easier to publish GIS data in KML. Hopefully we will see a wave of useful GIS data made public in the coming months.
According to Jorge, the Canary Islands KML “…uses a server side KML to WMS translator that maps user coordinates space in standard WMS requests. Main features are: continuous user view refresh (not only on view stop), works fine with high tilt camera angles (standard GE WMS support don’t work propertly), use Canary Islands SDI cache technology for fast response, multilanguage support (Spanish/English) and legend access (via standard WMS legend support).”

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. Fiona Spooner says:

    Hi, I was wondering if there was any way of getting the canary island kml files to open in GIS, I have tried many times but can’t get it to work! Any help you could give would be great.

  2. Kate Munday says:

    Hi, is it possible to get the kml files into GIS? Could you maybe give me a bit of help? Thanks so much!

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