Google Maps is a popular free online service for generating a wide variety of maps through the Google Maps website. Users can see road maps complete with business listings or turn on satellite imagery to view an entire area from an aerial perspective. It is also possible to create turn-by-turn driving directions between any two locations. The Google Maps location data can be shared using KML (Keyhole Markup Language) files. This is the standard data format for all Google Maps files. A KML can be sent to other users to quickly open a map of desired locations. Use Excel to create address listings and convert the document into KML files.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Microsoft Excel
- Web browser with Internet connection
- Google Earth
Install Google Earth if it is not already installed. Google Earth is free mapping software that uses the same file format as the online website Google Maps. However Google Earth adds many features, including the ability to convert location data into KML files, which may then be loaded in Google Maps.
Create a simple spreadsheet in Excel containing locations and their coordinates. Place each location on a separate row, and use column headings with the labels "Latitude" and "Longitude."
Visit the www.earthpoint.us/ExcelToKml.aspx website and upload your Excel spreadsheet through the web page's "Browse" button.
Press the "View on Google Earth" button. Google Earth will launch and automatically retrieve the locations in the Excel spreadsheet.
Right-click the folder "Earth Point Excel To KML" located in the Places pane on the left side of the Google Earth window. A pop-up context menu will appear.
Choose the option "Save As."
Specify a name and location for the saved file. The file type is automatically set to KML. Press "Save."
Tips and warnings
- If you do not know the latitude and longitude information for locations entered into Excel, you can find this data from the Google Maps interface. Enter an address and plot it on the Google Maps web page. Press the "Send" or "Link" button in the upper right of the map window once the location is mapped. Coded within this message is the latitude and longitude coordinates. Alternatively, install a Google Maps add-on for your browser (see Resources).
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