First things first. A KMZ is a zipped file containing one or compressed KML files. KML stands for Keyhole Markup Language. It’s a form of XML notation for expressing geographic information in internet-based maps, like Google Earth. A KML file will specify a set of geographic features which may include all or any of the following: place marks, images, polygons, 3D models and text descriptions.
This walkthrough will show you how to build a polygon. This polygon will allow us to provide you with the most accurate data for the best price possible. Without it, you might not get the geographic coverage you need, so be sure to follow these directions closely.
Please follow these instructions to create a basic polygon and email it to an imagery specialist at Apollo Mapping.
Creating a Polygon in Google Earth
- You’ll need to download and install Google Earth. You can find the application here. Follow the directions for installation and open the program.
- Using your mouse or the search bar at the top left of the screen, locate your general area of interest on the Earth.
- Now that you’ve zoomed in to your area of interest, you’ll need to create a polygon. The third icon from the left at the very top of the screen will allow you you do to this. Go ahead, click on it!
- You’ll now see a popup window. Feel free to name your polygon, though it isn’t necessary for our purposes.
- For this next step, you may need to click and drag this popup window away from the map. Once you’re able to see your entire area of interest, while the popup box is still open, click on an outside point of your area of interest. Click again on another outer boundary of your area of interest, and continue doing this until the polygon completely covers the area.
- Now that you’ve done that, click “OK.”
- Your polygon will appear in the “Places” menu on the left side bar of the program.
- If you’re happy with your polygon, great, you’re ready to submit your area of interest to Apollo Mapping. If not, don’t worry, you can adjust the polygon by clicking on the points and dragging them to your desired location.
- Okay, now you should be ready to send us your polygon via email. You can do this two ways. If you have an email client like Outlook, Thunderbird or Apple Mail set up already, you can follow the second set of directions. If you do not have an email client set up and you use web-based email in a browser (e.g. using Firefox to access Gmail), please follow the first set of directions.
How to Email Your KMZ File: Web-based Email
- Once your polygon is ready, right-click on the map in Google Earth.
- In the dialogue box that pops up, choose “Save Place As…”. This will allow you to save a KMZ file to your computer with whatever name you like. Choose a name that makes it easiest to find later, then select “Save”.
- Now you’ll need to navigate to your email inbox in your browser. Once there, open up a new message. Address the email to firstname.lastname@example.org, change the subject line to “Request for a quote: Google Earth KMZ attached”, and attach the KMZ you just created to the email.
- Click “Send” and the email will be on its way! An Apollo Mapping specialist will get back to you within 4 business hours. That’s it, you’re done!
How to Email Your KMZ File: Email Client
- First, you’ll need to right-click on the map and select “Email…” from the menu that pops up.
- From here you can choose to connect Google Earth with your current email program (Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, etc.) or with your Gmail account.
- Google Earth will then create an email in your preferred email client. All you have to do now is send this email to email@example.com.
- An Apollo Mapping imagery specialist will look over this email and your KML and then get back to you within 4 business hours. That’s it, you’re done!
If you’d like more in-depth information about KML files, you can check out this page. And if you have a KMZ or KML file that you would like to convert to a shapefile or GeoJSON, check out this free kmz to shp converter.