Minimap: KML in Firefox’s sidebar

The Minimap plugin for Firefox, flagged a few weeks ago, has just received significantly improved KML support. Minimaps’ author Tony Farndon explains what’s been going on behind the scenes:

The Ogle Earth ‘crowd’ were kind enough to give me some feedback in relation to kml, and although still early days, I have vastly improved kml support including a stored list similar to the address list. The largely useless Map Tab has now become more of a fullscreen sidebar/2D GE to some extent as well. […] I use GE myself and have found the sidebar a useful tool to quickly check the contents of a kml before starting up and opening in GE.

FYI, the latest version on my website (version has this improved handling. You can drag and drop or right-click and select ‘Open Link in Minimap’ for any kml link that ends in .kml, .kmz, =kml, Google MyMaps and keyhole kml links. (Any other kml links that DnD or right-click does not recognise can be opened manually from the sidebar ‘add kml’ toolbarbutton.)

I really like the idea of a sidebar giving you geospatial context whenever necessary to your everyday surfing experience — this way the map doesn’t become a dead-end in the surfing experience but instead a parallel experience. And Minimaps is a very robust implementation; I was able to get it to fetch polygons and even network links.


Any chance for GeoRSS savviness in the future, Tony? That could make the online newsfeed reading experience really compelling, as more and more feeds come to adopt the format.

One thought on “Minimap: KML in Firefox’s sidebar”

  1. :-)

    Will definately turn my attention to GeoRSS now, would really suit the extension, as you say giving what you are reading geographic context (not autodiscovery at present but the extension will load a GeoRSS link if added using the toolbar button).

    Your screenshot has just brought to my attention something I need to look into though – the default behaviour for the sidebar is to have the Drop Box display the text until an address is added, after that the other functions reveal themselves. Adding a kml file first does not :-(

    Thanks for the great post, Tony.

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