Open source geospatial software evangelist Paul Ramsey writes a must-read post for those of us who are curious as to where KML is headed. He’s got minutes of sorts from the most recent Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Technical Committee meeting, and while the meeting may have been boring, the news coming out of it is not. For those of us with short attention spans, here are the CliffsNotes:
- KML 2.1 is becoming part of the OGC standards process (we knew this already).
- The OGC will begin work on codifying KML 3.0.
- Google will continue to improve on KML 2.x, and the OGC will decide whether these changes make it into KML 3.0.
- We should get KML 3.0 within the year.
- In Q&A time, Google Earth CTO Michael Jones was asked whether Google being the only vendor involved in extending KML 2.x didn’t give Google too much power in the process. According to Ramsey, Jones replied that “he had approached Microsoft and ESRI to join in the standardization process of KML, and will continue to invite them to the table. In the end, an OGC process with Google and invitations to the others is better than no process at all. I find it hard to disagree with that.”
While we’re on the subject, any wishes for what should go into KML 3.0? I know what I want: A way of controlling the user experience from within the code — for example, by being able to choose whether popups appear in a tour, how fast such a tour should run, and whether a tour should start automatically. I’d also love to have better time-line functionality (along these lines), and the ability to subscribe to GeoRSS and WMS from within KML network links.
Perhaps a bit further off, I’d love a way to be able to turn on or off objects in the middle of a tour process; perhaps this could be done by repurposing the timeline functionality, so that you can set user perspectives at different points in a timeline and also have objects/layers becoming visible/invisible at timeline points. This sort of timeline would be measured in minutes of duration, of course, not absolute time, as the current timeline is in Google Earth. (This suggestion is copied wholesale from Matt Nolan’s EarthSLOT, whose tour functionality truly shines — see this demo).
Oh, and before I forget — how cool would it be if you could use KML to upload your homegrown DEMs to go with your high resolution overlays?
If you think any of these ideas are particularly bad, do let me know as well.
(See a Google Earth feature wishlist from almost exactly a year ago, and check up on what’s been implemented in the meantime. Hint: The Matterhorn is looking rather fantastic in Google Earth these days.)