Keyhole Markup Language (KML) is a tag-based file format used to display geographic data. A collection of KML files may also be compressed into a KMZ archive using the ZIP format. For more information, read the KML Documentation Introduction.
We highly recommend Google Earth for the most optimal experience when interacting with GCE-LTER KML data; however, there are several other programs listed below that can also be used.
"Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings and even explore galaxies in the Sky. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places and share with others." (download Google Earth)
Interacting with GCE-LTER data in GE:
Locate KML/KMZ file. Double click or highlight and click 'Open'.
Places -- this is the Table of Contents where you can view project information or select individual placemarks to launch KML balloons.
Map viewer -- Click on placemark icons to launck KML balloons.
KML balloon -- contains site description, photographs, and links to additional GCE-LTER data and resources.
Additional KML viewers:
"ArcGIS Explorer delivers an easy-to-use way to view and share information geographically. With ArcExplorer you can: explore data for the entire world seamlessly, fuse your local data with data and services from ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, Open Geospatial Consortium WMS, and ESRI-hosted ArcWeb Services, and perform GIS analysis using tasks (e.g., visibility, modeling, proximity search)." (download ArcGIS Explorer)
"Bing Maps 3D brings you another step closer to knowing "what it is like out there". You can search, browse, and organize local information viewed in three dimensions, just the way it exists in the real world. This enables you to more effectively find the data that is relevant to you, making Bing Maps more useful than ever. Even better -- it's just plain fun! " (download Bing Maps 3D)
"World Wind lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D." (download World Wind)