Google Adds CSV and KML Upload Support to Maps Data API

This week Google announced a new feature for its Maps Data API (check out our Maps Data API Profile) that will have a significant impact on how developers upload, and subsequently access, geospatial data in the cloud: data can now be uploaded to Google's infrastructure in either KML or CSV format.

Although at first this may seem like a subtle new feature, it actually has significant implications, as data uploads and updates can be performed much more easily. Matt Holden sums up the significance in a recent post on the Google Geo Developers Blog:

You can now upload thousands of features using a single POST request, and then immediately perform scalable searches over your data (while controlling exactly who has access to your maps).

Uploading data in CSV format allows developers to easily upload data dumps, thereby eliminating the need to format point data into KML. Below is a sample POST request that will upload several records at once:


POST http://maps.google.com/maps/feeds/maps/default/full
GData-Version: 2.0
Authorization: GoogleLogin auth="authorization_token"
Content-Type: text/csv
Slug: Some National Parks in the U.S.

name,latitude,longitude,description
Canyonlands,-109.88397,38.27176,Canyonlands National Park, in Utah
Big Thicket,-94.31812,30.16425,Big Thicket National Preserve, in Texas
Denali,-150.50929,63.27534,Denali National Park, in Alaska

This is a nice new feature and one which we believe will allow developers to manage geospatial data more efficiently. Be sure to check out the GData documentation if you're still coming up to speed on Google's Data APIs and the Google Data Protocol.

Be sure to read the next Mapping article: Yahoo's New Geo Concordance: a Geographic Rosetta Stone?