In my last Google Earth post, I focused on many of the the new features that Google has chosen to include in their new online version. Today I’d like to show you how Google wants you to create a MyMap and how you can view them in the online version of Google Earth. This is a fairly simple process but has too many hoops to jump through for younger non-tech savvy students which makes me a little sad. I hope they improve and streamline this process because getting students to follow multiple steps and directions is like herding cats…. but I digress.
The first step is to create a map in Google MyMaps. If you need some help in figuring out how to do that, let me tell you that it is a much more simple process than creating a file/map in the desktop version of Google Earth. Thankfully Google has paired down the options to creating lines, polygons, and placemarks (Google has renamed this “add marker”). First open an new map in your Google Drive. Rename your map title and begin to add content.
For my example I made a polygon of the the state of Colorado. Connecting the lines to the original starting point will close your line into a polygon.
Once it looks good to you, choose the menu option to “Export to KML”. This is found by clicking on the menu dots (three vertical dots to the right of the file name).
You will be given a few options. Choose wisely….
A KML (or KMZ if you chose the option) will download to your computer. Now we get to the part that I think Google could have done a better job with… You will then have to upload that same file to Google Earth Online or to your Google Drive. I wish that Google had simplified the process here. It feels like an extra step to download a KML file to my computer only to upload it to the online version of Google Earth or upload it to my Google Drive. They could have had an option to export a KML file directly to your Google Drive. Ugh. I’m sure they have their reasons…or not.
Uploading the KMZ to Google Drive.
Go to you Google Drive and choose “New File Upload” and select the file you just downloaded from your MyMaps to upload to your Drive (extra hoops to jump through for 12yr olds to forget… a teacher’s dream)
Once its uploaded you can easily import that KMZ file in Google Earth Online.
When you click the IMPORT KML FILE you will be given the choice of uploading the file from your desktop or from Google Drive. If you haven’t uploaded the file to Google Drive you will choose “Open File…” and select from your computer. If you did upload the file to your Drive you will choose “Open from Google Drive”
You can then view the content you created in the new Google Earth online.
It’s still a bit buggy and I’m having issues opening the file from my Google Drive but the file opens seamlessly from the upload from my desktop. The process still has too many steps to be appropriate for students under the age of 12 but hopefully Google will make the necessary adjustments to simplify and integrate the multiple steps into a single button in Google Drive (Open KML in Google Online). I hope this helps you save time creating and exploring content in the new Google Earth Online edition.