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Add your own features to Google Earth with KML.
Image Credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Keyhole Markup Language was created by a small company called Keyhole Corp. In 2004, Google purchased the company and now usesg KML in Google Earth to describe visual features using geographical coordinates. As a primarily visual language, the graphic expression of KML can be captured as a PDF, as can the underlying code.


KML Features

KML, a markup language based on XML, describes a number of visual features superimposed over a map, such as place names, geographic boundaries, shapes, placemarks and photo overlays. You can create KML files for private use, share them publicly or submit them to Google.


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Loading KML Content

Because KML expresses visual elements on a map, the best way to create a PDF with KML content is to open the KML file in Google Earth and create a PDF of the window. To load a KML file in Google Earth, choose "Open" from the "File" menu and locate the KML file you want to load. Select the elements you want to appear in the Places pane. Arrange the elements and open any placemarks you want to see before you print the Google Earth window.


Printing KML to PDF

To print the Google Maps window, choose "Print" from the "File" menu. Choose "Screenshot of the Current 3D View" and click OK. On a Mac, click "PDF" in the "Print" dialog box and choose "Save as PDF." In Windows, you must install a PDF print driver such as CutePDF or PDFCreator and then use it as you would a normal printer. Save the PDF when prompted, as specified by the driver's instructions.


KML Code to PDF

You may also want to save your raw KML code to PDF for sharing. To do so, open the KML file in a text editor and print the text to PDF. To use KML code from Google Earth, right-click on any item in the Places pane, choose "Copy" and paste the code into any text editor.


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