Thursday, 23 January 2014

Complete Guide on KML Geography Sitemaps

If your business has a physical location, you would need to tell Google about it, not only to gain higher authority and credibility, but to better rank on the results page.

Standard SEO requires that a website should have a sitemap.xml file to help search engine robots (i.e. GoogleBot) to crawl a site and index it.

Sitemaps concept has evolved that we currently have several types of specific sitemaps; news sitemaps, Video sitemaps, and geography sitemaps.

Geography sitemap file may also called KML (Keyhole Markup Language) [Do you remember the days when Google Earth was called Keyhole? Well, that is it]

Keyhole Markup Language (KML) is an XML notation for expressing geographic annotation and visualization within Internet-based, two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional Earth browsers.

KML was developed for use with Google Earth, which was originally named Keyhole Earth Viewer. It was created by Keyhole, Inc, which was acquired by Google in 2004. KML became an international standard of the Open Geospatial Consortium in 2008. Google Earth was the first program able to view and graphically edit KML files.

geography sitemaps image KML file


You can create KML files with the Google Earth user interface, or you can use an XML or simple text editor to enter "raw" KML from scratch. 

KML files and their related images (if any) can be compressed using the ZIP format into KMZ archives. To share your KML and KMZ files, you can e-mail them, host them locally for sharing within a private internet, or host them publicly on a web server. Just as web browsers display HTML files, Earth browsers such as Google Earth display KML files. 

Once you've properly configured your server and shared the URL (address) of your KML files, anyone who's installed Google Earth can view the KML files hosted on your public web server. Many applications display KML, including Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Maps for mobile, NASA WorldWind, ESRI ArcGIS Explorer, Adobe PhotoShop, AutoCAD, and Yahoo! Pipes.

The KML file specifies a set of features (place marks, images, polygons, 3D models, textual descriptions, etc.) for display in Here Maps, Google Earth, Maps and Mobile, or any other geospatial software implementing the KML encoding. Each place always has a longitude and a latitude. 

Other data can make the view more specific, such as tilt, heading, altitude, which together define a "camera view" along with a timestamp or timespan. KML shares some of the same structural grammar as GML. Some KML information cannot be viewed in Google Maps or Mobile.

KML files are very often distributed in KMZ files, which are zipped KML files with a .kmz extension. These must be legacy (ZIP 2.0) compression compatible (i.e. stored or deflate method), otherwise the .kmz file might not uncompress in all geobrowsers. The contents of a KMZ file are a single root KML document (notionally "doc.kml") and optionally any overlays, images, icons, and COLLADA 3D models referenced in the KML including network-linked KML files. The root KML document by convention is a file named "doc.kml" at the root directory level, which is the file loaded upon opening. By convention the root KML document is at root level and referenced files are in subdirectories (e.g. images for overlay images).

An example KML document is:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.HaveResults.net/kml/2.2">
<Document>
<Placemark>
  <name>Have Results</name>
  <description>SEM Tools Reviews</description>
  <Point>
    <coordinates>-74.006393,40.714172,0</coordinates>
  </Point>
</Placemark>
</Document>
</kml>

 or could be more detailed like this (in Microformats):


<div class="vcard">
<h2 class="fn org">Have Results</h2>
<div class="adr">
<div class="street-address">adress</div>
<span class="locality">City</span>,
<span class="region">Quebec</span>
<span class="postal-code">123456</span>
<span class="country-name">Canada</span>
</div>
<div class="tel">00123456789</div>
</div>



or in Schema.org format:


<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LocalBusiness">
<h2><span itemprop="name">Have Results</span></h2>
<span itemprop="description">SEM Tools Reviews</span>
<div itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
<span itemprop="streetAddress">adress</span>
<span itemprop="addressLocality">city</span>,
<span itemprop="addressRegion">Province</span>
</div>
Phone: <span itemprop="telephone">00123456789</span>
</div>




You can now create a file with KML extension for the Geo sitemap. 
To notify Google of the whereabouts of your locations, proceed by taking the following steps:
  1. Upload the KML file to your domain server with FTP.
  2. Login to Google Webmaster Tools and add the Geo Sitemap. For more information about submitting the Geo Sitemap, please read the Google Help pages.
  3. Don't forget to add your address details to your website 


There are easier ways to add your GEO sitemap (KML file to your site) 

If you are using WordPress, install a plugin called WP GeoSitemap
If not, you can use the geo sitemap generator to create you a file and you just upload it and notify Google through GWMTs. (Here is the link: http://www.geositemapgenerator.com/) 


Resources:

  • https://developers.google.com/kml/documentation/
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyhole_Markup_Language
  • https://developers.google.com/kml/documentation/kml_tut
  • https://support.google.com/earth/answer/148118?hl=en
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_Markup_Language



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