Google Maps MyMaps feature lets you create and save simple maps (lines and points), and share them with the world. But the sharing is done through a network link, not through a stand-alone KML file, and you can’t save the data directly to your computer. The GMaps tips website offers a simple way to save a stand-alone KML file of your MyMaps map:
1. Create the map.
2. Right-click on the “View In Google Earth” link, and copy the link address; paste it into a text editor:
3. Change “output=nl” to “output=kml”
4. Paste the modified link address into your browser’s address bar, and go to it; depending on how your browser preferences are set, you’ll either save the KML file for your map to your standard download directory, or it will open in Google Earth. In the latter case, right-click on the KML entry in the View pane at left, select “Save As”, and choose a name and location to save it in.
Useful if you’re stuck using Google MyMaps, maybe because of its collaboration options. If you don’t need to collaborate, Scribblemaps and Scribblemaps Pro offer direct KML export and have a much greater selection of drawing tools than Google MyMaps.
12/28/2010: Original method doesn’t work anymore, as the “View In Google Earth” link shows up very briefly, then disappears in favor of viewing the data in the Google Earth plugin in your browser. But you can still get it to work with a slight revision. Instead of right-clicking on the “View In Google Earth” link, do that on the “Link” in the upper-right-hand corner, then copy and paste that into a text editor. Then insert “&output=kml” (no quotes) before “&msid” in the link text. Copy and paste that modified link into your browser, and it will work as advertised.