Promoting Your KML

Google Earth offers a venue in which you can tell your story to others. Once you've finished creating your KML or KMZ file, it's important to make sure that you reach a broad audience with your story. In this tutorial you'll learn a few ways to make sure that people can easily find your KML on the web.

Before You Start

You should have a KMZ file ready to post to the web. As mentioned in the tutorial on Packaging Content in a KMZ file, you'll generally want to publish your content as a KMZ file.

Publish Your Content

The first thing to do is make sure your content is publicly accessible on the web and clearly labeled.

Put Your File on the Web

If you don't have a place to host your KMZ file, you can always use Google Sites. In addition to offering online web page creation and editing, Google Sites also lets you upload and host files for free. You can use this service to host your KMZ files as well as any related landing pages, images, SketchUp models, or other files you may need to tell your story.

If you're publishing your content on your own web site, make sure your hosting provider properly supports KMZ and KML file types. This ensures that when users download your Google Earth content, it automatically opens in Google Earth. For more on this topic, consult the KML tutorial.

Make Your KMZ File Accessible on Your Web Site

A lot of the same usability principles that apply to designing your KML also apply to the web page on which you post your KMZ file. In particular:

Measure the Success of Your Efforts

In preparation for actively promoting your KMZ file, you should consider using web site analytics software to measure the success of your marketing efforts and your Google Earth project as a whole. Just like donors may ask to see reports on what their donations have produced, you should make sure that your time spent with Google Earth is as effective as it can be. Using analytics tools can help you answer a few questions:

Once you have answered these questions and defined your goals, you can start refining your approach to maximize the impact of your efforts with Google Earth.

There are a number of analytics solutions out there. Given that you may be operating on a tight budget, consider some of the free analytics options out there. One example is Google Analytics, which is free to set up and includes a number of detailed reports.

Many popular open-source content management systems, such as Drupal and Plone, offer built-in site analytics but also make it quite easy to integrate Google Analytics.

Help Users Find Your KML Using Google Search

Once you've got all of your files on the web, be sure that your content is eligible for inclusion in Google search results.

Submitting your KML or KMZ file once allows users to discover your content in multiple ways. Not only can users find your KML file in regular Google search results, but searches within Google Earth may include individual placemarks from your KML file. For more information on KML files and Google's search offerings, see the KML Reference

You can submit the url of your KMZ file to http://www.google.com/addurl. You'll be asked to fill out a very short form like this:

Add your URL form

Post Your Content to the Google Earth Community

Users of Google Earth already share and discover content on the Google Earth Community bulletin boards. It's easy to post your content in a few simple steps:

The Google Earth Outreach Showcase

Google maintains a showcase of high-quality public benefit KML files created by non-profits and others working for the greater good. Entries in this showcase also appear in the more general Google Earth KML Gallery.

Earth Outreach Showcase Screenshot

Let Relevant Bloggers Know About Your Content

There are a number of popular blogs that focus on Google Earth and frequently feature interesting content from others. Let the owners of these blogs know about your content. Although they receive many submissions, yours might be one they choose to feature. Here are a few blogs to check out:

Discussion / Feedback

Have questions about this tutorial? Want to give us some feedback? Visit the Google Earth Outreach Discussion Group to discuss it with others.

What Next?

For more tips on distributing your content, see the following tutorial: