Google Earth update for iPad: kmz & kml files

Google Earth has long been one of my favorite desktop applications. When studying current events, students can “see” the part of the world that we are discussing and make connections to familial history, previous vacations and proximity to Seattle. Layers can transform Google Earth into a tool to support any lesson from climate & weather to history & innovation to language arts & culture.

Google Earth for the iPad isn’t as robust as it is for laptops/desktops, but the March 2012 release does offer a step forward with the ability to overlay .kml and .kmz files. This means a teacher or student can create custom content and then share this media with other iPad users via email or web links. So far it doesn’t seem that embedded video will play. I put together a quick demo of the new features:

6 thoughts on “Google Earth update for iPad: kmz & kml files

  1. Hi!

    Really good video showing how you can get your KMZ and KML files to load into google earth. I have been trying to open a KML/KMZ file from my email/dropbox on my iPad. The file contains pinpoints and paths, which have descriptions. The descriptions show up fine on the Desktop version but when I open the files on my ipad the descriptions/balloons are blank.

    Can you tell me how you managed to get the descriptions to work?

    1. Hi Scott,

      Went back and looked at my notes, re-watched the video I made, and did some goofing around. Looks like my testing was not thorough – I only messed with iFrames when sending the kmz via email, not a regular description.

      I’m running into the same wall as you with email/Dropbox. All description boxes are failing. Even stranger, it looks like the data may actually be there but not displaying…see the preview in the attached image: the preview contains content that is supposed to show up in the box.

      Google Earth preview of description box for iPad

      1. I’ve found the error lisintg in a Googles developer forums: seems Google is aware of the error (as of 21st April 2012) and is working on a solution….hopefully it will be fixed soon!

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