Improvements to Mesh4x KML adapter ("Mesh4Maps"?)

posted on: May 24, 2008

After feedback from Where 2.0 we updated the Mesh4x KML adapter to Mesh4x to embed all versioning metadata for the items in the file itself.

This allows you to have one KML file, send it via email, copy it on USB drives, and have your team do changes on them anywhere they are. When you get their copy back again, or if they meet each other, they can use the sync utility to make sure changes are merged both ways. They can also use the sync utility to sync to a server via http, by just putting the server URL in the text box.

You can replicate this synchronization topology today with the mesh4x KML adapter download

This week Juan Marcelo aka ‘Tondat’ worked on some refining touches on the adapter:

  • One File: You only need to keep track of your KML file now. The sync utility will add versioning metadata as needed to the file.
  • KMZ: We support KMZ which is google earth’s native save format (A KMZ file is really a zip file with KML and additional resources like images or icons inside)
  • Sync any KML:  You can sync placemarks, folders, styles and stylemaps.
  • Folders and item hierarchies: We sync placemarks even as you move them around in the tree, or change the tree itself. Tondat tells me next week we’ll separate placemark versioning from the versioning of where it is in the tree, so moving items around does not create conflict for the items.

We are also starting to update the server-side ‘cloud storage’ component to allow external applications to drive it. This would make it trivial to make a web app that:

  • Lets you create ‘shared maps’
  • Lets you download the KML and you can work on it offline
  • Gives you a URL to sync to with the sync utility
  • Has an online web page to see the current map
  • Maybe the page itself allows editing online? For example via the google maps API.

If you are interested in putting something like this together, please let us know.

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