Many of them exist on the market. Some are even free. Of course, we cannot describe all of them but here is a very useful sample for free tools.

  • My Places at maps.google.com
  • Google Earth
  • Google Map Tool
  • GPS Babel
  • Excel to KML
  • Radius around a point

All of them can create .kml files but only Google Earth can produce .kmz. 
My Places at maps.google.com, Google Earth and Google Map Tool will help creating maps and all details in it. GPS Babel is mainly use for conversion and can generate .gpx file from a .kml or almost any proprietary GPS file formats.

After you made a kml file, you must upload the file to your website and make sure it's reachable on the internet. Check it with maps.google.com, by placing the url to the kml-file in the search field and press enter.

Extra tips on kml files.

For examples, see:

My places at maps.google.com

Goto maps.google.com and click on My places.

my places at maps.google.com

my places at maps.google.com

A video with explanation:

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Maps is online, no files necessary, reference to map is enough (see: MSID)
  • Works with all map types and possible layers

 

Cons:

  • Less features available
  • Not wel documented

 

Google Earth

Google Earth can be downloaded here.

Google Earth

Pros:

  • Very well known
  • Very complete
  • Documentation and forum for help

 

Cons:

  • Ease of use medium
  • Files produced are heavier
  • Can only work with satellite mode but the plan mode will be available once interpreted by the plugins.

 

Google Map Tool

Google Map tool can be found here.

Google Map Tool

Pros:

  • Quite complete
  • Exists for version 2 and version 3
  • Can work with plan, satellite and relief
  • Small or large map
  • File produced are light

 

Cons:

  • Ease of use medium

 

GPS Babel

GPS Babel can be downloaded here.

GPS Babel

Pros:

  • A lot of conversion format available for the source and the destination files

 

Cons:

  • Ease of use medium
  • The documentation is available over the internet but it can be time consuming going through all and finally understanding what is really useful for our needs.

 

Excel to KML

With the website Excel to KML you can use a excel spreadshee. In the spreadsheet you define specific columns and add the necessary data. On the website you can upload the excel file and convert it to KML by viewing it in Google Earth. Then you can download the kml file.

Excel to KML

Pros:

  • Easy to add high volume of markers
  • Easy of use medium

 

Cons:

  • Not all options of kmls are available
  • Description can not be greater then 255 characters

 

Radius around a point

With the website Radius around a point you can define a point and place a coloured circle with a specific radius on the map and export it as a kml file.

Radius around a point

 

Article initially written by Hélène Larocque.