I was browsing the site stats for earth.nanaimo.ca, checking out what kind of results people were seeing with common keyword searches. To my surprise, I saw some hits on specific KML and KMZ files published on my employer’s website:
Further experimentation shows that you can combine keywords with a filetype specification to narrow down your search results:
Now, I don’t think that this feature is fully fleshed out yet, but it provides some really interesting spatial search possibilities. Ways I would like to see this improved:
- allow results from both kml and kmz files by just specifying the KML filetype
- expand search capabilities to return KML files with content near a location, or within an area
- add a feature to Google Earth to “Search for external data nearby”
- I am not convinced that it is indexing the contents of KML within KMZ. This should be indexing the name, snippet, and description contents of both KML whether it is in compressed or not
I understand that this integration is being driven by Google’s focus on its own products and there are some areas where this will really enhance their offerings. However, it would be great if Google could also expand its spatial index to include keyword searching for other spatial data such as WMS and WFS services, shapefiles, e00 files, dxf files, etc.