So What’s the Big Deal About Google Earth KML Files and Why Should I Care?
There are a lot of people out there who use Google Earth every day. Maybe they want to map out the trail they are planning to hike this weekend (like I do). Maybe they just like to fly into different spots around the globe to see the sights they will never see in person. Or maybe they use it for something else.
There are also a lot of other people out there who haven’t installed Google Earth because they don’t see any value in it, don’t know what it is or maybe haven’t even heard of it.
You may be in either of those two groups and not know what a KML file is. Even if you use Google Earth regularly, you may still not know what they are or what good they are. It’s time for you to see what the big deal is for yourself.
If you don’t have Google Earth installed, you can install it here. (Don’t worry, it’s free and you can always uninstall it later.) Once you have Google Earth installed, download this subdivision.kml file, run it and turn various features on or off in the Places pane on the left.
Now imagine that you are one of your clients. Maybe you’re an old couple who is subdividing their property. Maybe you’re a young couple who is just getting started. Now imagine that the surveyor you hired emails you a KML file along with instructions on what to do with it (like I provided above). Can you imagine these couples being so wowed that they want to send the KML file to all of their friends? Can you imagine how these customers will rave about your work?
What’s the best source of advertising for your business? Is it word of mouth from your satisfied customers? Do other people ask your customers who to hire and who to trust?
Including a KML file for your clients can make your work stand out from the competition. Send a KML file to your client and see how much value that adds to your services! Can you afford to not have this tool?
Oh, by the way, KML files (but only smaller ones) also work with Google’s My Maps. You can use the file from above but you won’t see the contours.
John Balcom, MSE, PLS, GISP