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OGC® Approves KML as Open Standard

Sam Bacharach Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc tel: +1-703-352-3938 sbacharach [at]
Release Date: 
14 April 2008

Wayland, Mass., April 14, 2008 - The members of the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) today announced the approval of the OpenGIS® KML Encoding Standard (OGC KML), marking KML's transition into an open standard which will be maintained by the OGC. Developers will now have a standard approach for using KML to code and share visual geographic content in existing or future web-based online maps and 3D geospatial browsers like Google EarthTM.

"We are pleased to see the adoption of KML as an OGC standard," said Ron Lake, chairman and chief executive officer of Galdos Systems Inc. "We believe that this is a major step forward for the OGC and for the entire geographic information community, as it provides the first broadly accepted standard for the visualization of geographic information."

"Geographic data adds tremendous value to the online experience. More and more people are looking for ways to incorporate location information into their online content," said Michael Weiss-Malik, KML product manager for Google. "The standardization of KML makes it possible for both novice and expert users alike to publish and share geographical information in an open format. It's not unlike web browsers' standardized support for HTML, which allows any web browser to read any web page."

KML version 2.2 was brought into the OGC consensus process by a submission team led by Google and Galdos Systems Inc.

KML is an XML-based programming language, originally developed to manage the display of geospatial data in Google Earth. It's still used heavily in Google Earth but is also supported by a variety of vendors' tools and mapping websites.

The OpenGIS KML 2.2 Encoding Standard formalizes the KML 2.2 model and language while remaining backwards compatible with existing KML 2.2 files and tools. In comparison with the GoogleTM KML 2.2 Reference, the standard defines:

  • the KML 2.2 geometry encoding and interpolation model
  • an extension model in support of application profiles
  • conformance requirements and test cases

The adopted OpenGIS KML 2.2 Encoding Standard (OGC KML) is available at

About the OGC

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 345 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OpenGIS® Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at

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