Language behind Google Earth likely to be a standard

The Open Geospatial Consortium has dubbed Google's Keyhole Markup Language ' the language used for developing Google Earth ' a best practice and is working with Google and other OGC members, including ESRI and Autodesk, to make sure KML integrates well with other standards such as the Geographic Markup Language.

Microsoft ' which is continuing development of its Web-based mapping product, Microsoft Virtual Earth ' is not an OGC member, though it is expected to join soon.

Google offered KML Version 2.1 to the consortium in April and is working closely with OGC to further development of the language.

An OGC official said the main advantages of making KML a standard are that it speeds development of Web-based mapping applications, encourages greater interoperability of products and ensures easier movement of data among applications.

OGC expects KML Version 3.0 to be released as a standard early next year.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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