Saturday, December 21, 2013

Embed your google earth map in your website

The Inside Travel team asked me whether it is possible to show the destination with picture and tourist offer on a map in our webpage. I had no clue about who to do this, but my intuition said, it should be possible, and indeed it is and it is quite simple : you just need to do the following steps :

  1. In google earth, you can create you own layers, named kml files (native google earth geo-data format not to be confused with a famous airline name). In my particular case i added placemarks for the different destinations. You can even add pictures that are on the internet, and description (
  2. save the kml file to the computer
  3. load the kml file to a server (such as google drive or google sites) 
  4. use the google reach out gadget found here 
  5. indicate the link to the kml server file, and choose the setting
  6. get the code and embed it into your website (with a html widget for wikispaces or blogpost)
Find here the google support concerning embedding a google earth project. 

Interesting in this procedure is that all the data need to be on the internet. Crucial is to find a stable location and not use links that depend on others (for example using a picture on Wikipedia) which could be removed.
One option is to put all the documents on google solution, namely using picasa for the picture and google drive for the klm file. But I just discovered another elegant solution is to use a google site (find google explanation here). Google sites allow to have webpages made in a very simple manner and has a feature called "file cabinet". A file cabinet is like an FTP server that is hosted by google and can easily be linked to any website or can be used in the Google gadget above. The advantage of the file cabinet is that all the documents needed to embed your map (pictures, text, kml) are stored in one location only.

Pretty cool, what google allows you to do with maps. This could be a smart way to present agricultural research results in a spatially explicit way and is definitely a feature you will find back on the new Inside Travel website. Until then, try it out yourself, it is less difficult than what you might think!

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