Archive for the 'KML' Tag  

Keyhole Markup Language (KML) is the geospacial data format popularized by Google Earth and Google Maps. — find the most twisty-turny roads around

December 5th, 2012

Filed under: Computers and Technology , Software

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Update November, 2016: New dedicated Curvature site —

Update October, 2013: Google Earth KML files generated by are now available covering the entire world.

In the process of taking up motorcycling this summer I also gained an additional hobby: scouring maps and travel guides to find the roads that would be most fun to ride. While I’ve had great times on dirt roads through farmland and wide open highways, there just isn’t anything that compares to the thrill of leaning through the corners on a winding road.

While I’ve had some good successes in locating roads by map (such as Tracy Road), one of the shortcomings of a map is the tight curves you can really lean into tend to be below the resolution for many maps. Atlases and electronic maps like Google Earth allow you to zoom in, but then there is the problem of finding the gems in the sea of data. What I realized I needed was a way to highlight just the most curvy roads so that I would know where to explore next.
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Middle Road Development

December 3rd, 2007

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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Just over the hill from me are two new development projects in Middlebury, the “Lodge at Otter Creek” retirement community and the other is an upscale residential neighborhood.

For those who are interested in the extent of the development, I’ve biked the new roads and recorded their positions via GPS:

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Middle Road KML

Big Spring Creek Canoe Trip

August 29th, 2007

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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Kayaking on the Big Spring Creek.

Sarah, my dad, and I took a canoe and kayak trip down the Big Spring Creek in Newville, Pennsylvania. The creek is beautiful, with clear water, many aquatic plants, and much waterfowl.

Since the creek has a tiny drainage and is primarily spring fed, it does not flood regularly (if at all) and is hence heavily silted. For about the first 3rd of our trip, the canoe was constantly scraping the bottom and getting stuck. My dad in the sea-kayak had a little bit shallower draw and only got stuck once.

After the first 3rd of the trip the channel deeped, but was still quite narrow, requiring a lot of maneuvering of the large canoe.

In a few spots fallen trees block the channel, though we were able to gingerly maneuver over or under them.

Be aware that a State Boat Registration sticker is required on all boats.

The Google Earth/Maps images are making use of two scripts that I have just written that generate a KML file from the Flickr photo set and then join the photo collection with the GPS track of our route.

KML Joiner

August 29th, 2007

Filed under: Computers and Technology , Software

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As of a few days ago, I am now able to generate KML versions of Flickr photosets for viewing in Google Earth/Maps. With that taken care of, I also want to easily combine these KML documents of images together with other KML files that show additional information, such as paths traveled, points of interest, etc.

To accomplish this task, I have written a new script, the KML Joiner that will combine any KML documents on the web together into a single (referenced) KML document. (try it out)

More Detail: for those interested in KML
The resulting document is a collection of network links, each of which points to one of the KML URLs specified. Doing this rather than combining their text together into a static KML document prevents style collisions as well as allows changes in the source data to propagate to the combined document.

Refresh intervals can optionally be specified for every source document allowing for a server-friendly combination of static data with rapidly changing data. By default, no refresh interval is specified, making the linked documents load only once when first accessed.


View the KML Joiner with fields filled in that generates the map below.

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The map above is of the trip mentioned in a previous blog post, but this time the data sources (1. a static KML file with the path and house placemark, 2. a dynamic KML document generated with my Photo set to KML script) joined together with the KML Joiner script instead of manually put together with a text editor.

You are welcome to use this script hosted on my site, or you can download it and run it on your own computer/webserver.

This script is available under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3 or later. (Source Code)

Please post any suggestions for fixes or changes. Thanks!

Conodoguinet Creek Canoe Trip

August 28th, 2007

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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Sarah and I took a 6-mile canoe trip down the Conodoguinet Creek near my parents’ house on a beautiful August afternoon.

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The map above was generated with a GPS track of our path (the blue line) and the photo output from my new photosetToKML.php script

Opossum Lake Trail

August 26th, 2007

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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A map of the “Angler’s Trail” around Opossum Lake, built by the Friends of Opossum Lake Conservancy.

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Flickr Photo Set to KML

August 23rd, 2007

Filed under: Computers and Technology , Software

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One of the things I (and others) have found lacking when working with geotagged images on Flickr, is the inability to retrieve a “photo set” (Flickr’s take on a slideshow) as a KML document that can then be displayed in GoogleEarth, GoogleMaps, or other geo-browsers. Flickr provides some KML links and GeoRSS feeds, but these are either limited to 20 items or can only be pointed at tags or users’ photo-streams, not a particular photo set.

To fill this niche, I present a small script I wrote to generate a KML file from the geotagged photos in a set:

Photo Set to KML     (try it out)


  • Generate a KML file from a Flickr photo set
  • Directly open the KML file in Google Maps
  • Choose what size image to include in the placemark description for each photo.
  • Optionaly draw a path (line) from photo to photo ordered in one of several ways: by date taken, by date uploaded, by set order. Useful for making a quick and dirty map of a trip.


  • KML / GoogleMaps – Some photos from Cape Cod.

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  • KML / GoogleMaps – A set of photos from a trip I took around Turkey, with lines drawn chronologically. Since this is a large set that causes GoogleMaps to time-out, I’ve downloaded the KML file and then re-uploaded it to my website. This is the method I recommend for large photo sets.

    View Larger Map

You are welcome to use this script hosted on my site, or you can download it and run it on your own computer/webserver. If you would like to run it yourself, please be aware of the following…

System Requirements:

This script is available under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3 or later. (Source Code)


  • 2011-10-06
  • 2007-08-27
    • Now uses htmlspecialchars() to clean titles instead of htmlentities(), the latter of which was causing excessive translation of German characters. Thanks Stefan Geens, for pointing this out.
    • Form now generates valid XHTML 1.0 strict.
    • Now can use image thumbnails instead of camera icons. Thanks for the idea Nicolas Hoizey.
  • 2007-08-24
    • Now escapes ampersands in titles and descriptions. Thanks Jesse for pointing this out.

    Future Improvement Ideas::

    • Add an option for icon size.
    • Add options for custom icon/path styles. I’m not sure whether to give several options, or just provide a field for a block of arbitrary KML style-markup.

Hiking Trails in Vermont – Google Earth/Maps

October 9th, 2006

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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VermontHiking in Google Earth

This weekend I started a project of mapping hiking and biking trails around Vermont and building a Google Earth data set of the trails, their heads, and destinations.

View the trails in Google Maps.

To view the trails in Google Earth:

  1. Download and install Google Earth
  2. Click on this link to open the Vermont Hiking 'Network Link' in Google Earth
  3. The 'Network Link' will automatically refresh with new data once a day.

If you are hiking/biking with a GPS unit and would like to contribute to this project, please send any trail submissions that you have mapped to:
Adam Franco

In your submission, please include:
– Markers at:
— trailheads
— parking
— trail-junctions
— overlooks/destinations
– A path of the trail (GPS tracklog perferred overguess

Note: While estimates based on looking for points in Google Earth (rather than marked via GPS) are welcome, please add “(unverified)” to such waypoint/path titles.