Thursday 5 June 2008

Thematic mapping and the Google Earth plugin

Thanks for all the feedback after my initial release of Thematic Mapping Engine. Two features have been requested; data upload/import and support for the new Google Earth plugin. I've now added a Preview-button, which enables you to see thematic maps in the browser instead of switching between two applications.

The Google Earth plugin seems to render big and complex KML files very well. The image above shows GDP per capita in 2005.

A missing feature is support for KML time primitives. The TimeSpan and TimeStamp elements are not supported, and the plugin renders all the polygon features regardless of the time specified (above image). This will hopefully be fixed in a future release.

With the new Google Earth plugin it's possible to create a highly interactive and explorative user interface for geovisualisation. The plugin can be combined with other visualisation gadgets in a way that is not possible in Google Earth. As applications move from the desktop to the web, there will be a great demand for JavaScript experts who know how various APIs and libraries can be combined.

By the way, Thematic Mapping Engine still works without the Google Earth plugin - just click the Download-button.


Alex said...


How you link the kmz on the GEarth web page?
Your work is an inspiration in some parts of the mine:

Thanks a lot!
Best regards from Spain

Bjørn Sandvik said...

Hi Alex,

Have a look at this page. My KMZ file is generated on-the-fly on a web server and then I add the url reference in the JavaScript code.

You could probably generate KML using JavaScript directly. I need to look into that option later.

Nice map gallery!