On the Google Earth Outreach team we're always looking for ways to help non-profits share their stories. One great way to spread your message is by creating a layer for Google Earth or Maps. You probably know by now that placemarks can be created using something called KML. Most people think this file format is really hard to use, but with the help of Google Spreadsheets and a little imagination, you too can create your own layers. And to make creating placemarks in Maps and Earth even easier, we've just released our new and improved Spreadsheet Mapper 2.0 tool. Instead of getting bogged down maintaining a bunch of KML code, this tool lets you:
  • Create up to 400 placemarks.
  • Use our six ready-made balloon designs to create great-looking placemarks.
  • Create and share your own balloon designs by using a simple HTML templating system.
Ready to dive in? Check out the tutorial, which includes a YouTube video to help you follow along.

For added inspiration, see how the folks from Edge of Existence used this tool to showcase their top 100 most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) mammalian and amphibian species. And it's not just for organizations; we encourage anyone who is looking to create their own layer in Maps or Earth to try it out.