Monday, April 14, 2008
HTML has completely transformed our world. Through the web, a previously inconceivable amount of information is now just a few keystrokes and mouse clicks away. What makes this possible is the fact that web browsers, web servers, and many other pieces of Internet infrastructure all speak the same language. Because of Internet standards like HTML, any web browser can view any web page. Internet standards are what makes the web a flourishing marketplace.
Today, a new standard was born: The Open Geospatial Consortium has announced its acceptance of KML 2.2 as an official OGC Standard. KML started as a file format for Google Earth, a way to save out the list of restaurants or parks or hiking trails that you might have drawn as a custom map. It's since matured into something much larger, and is supported on a wide variety of mapping platforms produced by a range of companies. You can even view KML on your cell phone! There are tens of millions of KML files available online -- a testament to just how much user-generated content is now map-based information.
Mapping has come a long way from the origami paper creations of the past. Our choice to give KML to the OGC is part of our strong commitment to open standards. It's our belief that KML's standardization will do much to make more geographic-based content accessible online.
There's more on KML's standardization on the Lat Long blog.