Using KML for Thematic Mapping
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The use of geobrowsers has increased considerably over the last few years. Thematic mapping has a long history in cartography, but the new geobrowsers (like Google Maps and Earth) tend not to focus on this aspect of geographical information representation. This paper examines how Keyhole Markup Language (KML) can be used for thematic mapping. KML is not targeted towards thematic mapping, but it is possible to use KML elements in ways that were probably not intended. Current possibilities for making proportional symbol maps, chart maps, choropleth maps and animated maps with KML will be presented. These experiments show that KML and geobrowsers offer great potential for thematic mapping, but that there are significant issues that need to be resolved.