So I saw the article on the Google Earth Blog about the new Google Earth Outreach program, and was reading the tutorial page when I noticed that there’s now the capability to create a network KML link from a Google Spreadsheet to Google Earth. When did they do that?!
There’s been the ability to create a network link from the EditGrid online spreadsheet site for a while now, developed in part by Valery Hronusov. The new Google capability seems like it has more options and flexibility in terms of displaying information, but it’s still not exactly pushbutton simple, either – you’ll have to follow the directions quite carefully. And of course you’ll also need a Google account to do this as well. Visit the tutorial page, click on the link for the starter spreadsheet, and follow the instructions step-by-step either on the tutorial page itself or on the instruction page that shows up at the starter spreadsheet.
It’s probably best to first make a working copy of the starter spreadsheet using the File=> Copy command before doing anything else. Click on the links at the bottom to access the Template, where you can specify the file information, icon and colors to be used for the placemarks and info balloon. Click on the Placemarks link at the bottom of the spreadsheet page to enter the actual data you want to plot in Google Earth. For location, you can enter latitude/longitude directly, or enter an address and have Google geocode it for you automatically (you can cut and paste this data from another spreadsheet). Then follow the convoluted tutorial directions for creating first a network link to this spreadsheet data, then adding the network link to Google Earth. I have to believe they’ll come up with an easier way, eventually, but this will do for now for a network-linked spreadsheet.
For a static spreadsheet file, there are other options for creating a plain KML file that might make more sense; take a look in this website’s “spreadsheet category” for any number of ways to do that, like this link:
or this link: