Valery35 and KASSPER over on Google Earth Communty pull off a great hack. Using the online collaborative spreadsheet service www.editgrid.com, they’ve managed to create spreadsheet-driven KML that can be linked to directly from within a network link.
It took me a while for the implications to sink in, but boy what implications. Import any old spreadsheet with coordinate or placename data into editgrid, add a sheet or two with wrapper KML code, use the concatenate formula to wrap the data into the valid KML code, put the end result in one cell, and then link to it directly from a network link via a cell-specific URL. Presto — your spreadsheet returns KML via some clever templating. No programming required.
What’s more, the spreadsheet can be altered collaboratively, and the results will change live for users, as soon as the network link is refreshed.
The best early example is this spreadsheet by Valery, where the data is concatenated into valid KML in cell K12 of sheet 4. Put that latter link into a network link in Google Earth, or just stick it into Google Maps, like so. Awesome, and I’m not using the term lightly.
The main innovation here (in addition to the great idea) is that editgrid.com gives individual spreadsheet cells unique URLs, and that these return the value of the cell. I could not find an equivalent feature in Google Spreadsheets (despite having a good look around). This is a clear case of convergence outpacing Google’s own inhouse efforts.