As most readers of this blog are already aware, KML (formerly Keyhole Markup Language) is now an open standard through the OGC. It is anticipated that this will enable a wider range of organizations to support KML, and that KML will become the dominant means globally for the geographic data presentation, navigation and electronic mapping of data.
Organizations including Microsoft, ESRI, Bentley (to name only a few) have already launched or announced tools for the automated generation of KML, and we anticipate that numerous organizations will follow suit in the not too distant future.
Many of these tools will generate KML automatically from existing mapping databases or using map styling rules. It is thus important that the generated KML be valid and complies with the OGC specification (currently version KML 2.2). With a diversity of applications and tools creating KML, one need no longer rely on Google Earth™ as the “gold standard” for KML processing and display. Furthermore, it is not the job of Google Earth to provide KML diagnostics. With increasing usage of Google Earth and related KML processing components in a broad range of critical applications, the “correctness” of the KML generated or transformed/filtered in the system is of considerable importance.
Galdos Systems Inc. is pleased to announce a free online KML validation service. This service will be located at http://kmlvalidator.com  and will provide online validation testing of submitted KML files. The current release will support KML 2.2 and implements the Abstract Test Suite (ATS) defined in the OGC KML 2.2 Specification. It will provide diagnostic support in addition to determining the point or points of non-compliance in the submitted KML file. Galdos Systems Inc. intends to extend this support to provide stronger diagnostics and for future KML versions as they are adopted by the OGC.
Professional Validation Services
The KML Validator above is free. However, some users such as developers of commercial KML software generation or transformation components may require additional support. Galdos Systems Inc. can provide professional services that will offer access to automated validation functionality for these users than can be integrated directly into their software products, whether online or offline. Galdos Systems Inc. will also offer professional KML training and development support.
If you are a commercial KML tool/component developer please contact us to discuss the services we can provide to accelerate your component development.
Some users may wish to incorporate “metadata” from other grammars and namespaces (e.g. GML, ESRI XML, DHS GDMXML) into their KML records. Galdos Systems Inc. can also provide professional services for the automated validation of these embedded XML data streams.
KML “Golden Registry”
In the near future, Galdos Systems Inc. will launch an online registry of “golden” KML files that illustrate the range of KML “behaviours” that are possible, as well as illustrating specific problem cases. The registry will be available to the KML developer community as a rich source of test information and examples.
The golden files will be searchable using keyword searches, by associations between the files (e.g. “see also”) and by user and user-defined classification schemes – thus making it easy to quickly locate KML files that illustrate issues from polygon interpolation to the drawing of KML balloons with rich HTML content.
More KML Support Coming
Galdos Systems Inc. is focused on the provision of technology for active geospatial information sharing and collaboration, and we strongly believe that the navigation and visualization capabilities of KML are a critical component of this concept of SDI. As a result Galdos Systems Inc. is dedicated to the provision of advanced KML tools for users and developers.
Watch this blog for future announcements.