Search Sweden’s historical monuments, get KML

Back in May, David Haskiya of Sweden’s Office of Antiquities (RAA) wrote in to report that they were experimenting with KML versions of their geospatially enabled database of historical monuments. There was one potential stumbling block that needed to be resolved, however: Should this database be made public at all?

The decision has now been made — it’s public as of last Monday, and here is the press release to prove it (in Swedish). What the press release glosses over (but which David wrote in to highlight) is that the database queries are saveable as URLs that dynamically generate KML files.

It’s all in Swedish, so follow along. Here is an HTML search result for Swedish Iron Age Dolmen, which are large distinctive burial stones. Notice the link to a KML version of the results just above it? Place that inside a network link in Google Earth, and it will update along with the database, which David says is growing all the time. (In other words, that KML link would be even more useful if it came shrinkwrapped inside a network link which we could download. How do you say “shrinkwrapped” in Swedish?)

Adds David (translated from Swedish):

Developments we’re planning for next year include integrating an interactive map into the site, setting up RSS and WMS services, and experimenting with KML’s timestamp functionality to create historical patrimony maps with time depth. [Yes!]

(Another of RAA’s databases — this one mainly of georeferenced photos of Swedish churches — now also carries links to KML, in addition to two local Swedish web mapping services. Examples here and here.)

This is going to make a lot of history classes in Swedish schools a lot more interesting.

[UPDATE 2006-10-11 11:45 UTC: David just wrote to say that they’re busy installing extra servers to deal with the unanticipated extreme demand for the service, as many Swedes are now checking to see if they live near interesting archaeological monuments. And he’s also looking into adding a network link.]