Bill Clark, the author of the useful Google Earth Public Land Survey System (PLSS) tool, has a new online app for converting spreadsheet data into point KML files, and opening them directly in Google Earth. Spreadsheet files can be in XLS (Office 2003 or earlier for now, Office 2007 support coming), CSV, or TXT (tab-delimited format); the minimum data required includes only latitude and longitude (either decimal or degree-minute-second formats are acceptable). Optional additional data accepted includes:
- Name for each point
- Description (text for pop-up balloon)
- Icon (use the table on the web app page to select a number corresponding to the desired icon graphic)
- Formatting tags (size and color of icon, altitude, connecting lines)
Make sure the column headings are included, exactly as specified on the web page’s instructions; there’s an option on the web page to review the spreadsheet data online to make sure it’s correct. The data is formatted into KML at the server, then sent back to your computer to be opened in Google Earth; the original data is then deleted at the server end for security. If you want to save the data displayed in Google Earth, make sure you right-click on the data item in the Places window on the left, and save it in either KML or KMZ format.