CLEAR Research

Maps on the Web

Google Spreadsheet Mapper - Convert Your database to KML

The Spreadsheet Mapper is an online spreadsheet that you can use to generate KML for Google Earth and Google Maps. The Spreadsheet Mapper is part of Google Docs, which means that anyone with a free Google account can collaborate on the creation of the document. This makes it easy to share and maintain the KML within a group of individuals. Below is a basic description of how the Spreadsheet Mapper works.

What You Will Need

1. A Google Account (free). Any email will do, you do not need a Gmail account.

2. The Starter Spreadsheet (you will need to be signed in)

How It Works

The Spreadsheet Mapper does exactly what it sounds like it does - it allows you to enter values into a spreadsheet and then it uses those values to create a map. More precisely, it uses the values you enter to create a KML that can be viewed in Google Earth and Google Maps. It provides six templates for you to choose from for your placemarks and allows you to preview them in both Google earth browsers. The Spreadsheet Mapper provides instructions about what to type into each cell in the spreadsheet and allows you to either copy and paste information from other applications (like Excel) or start from scratch and type in the values for each placemark you wish to include in your KML.


Data can be entered on the spreadsheet by hand, by copy and pasting from other programs, or by importing data files. The Spreadsheet Mapper allows you to choose different templates to use to display your data inside Google Earth and Google Maps.

You can preview what your document will look like using the different templates in either Google Earth or Google Maps.

Google Earth

Google Maps


Work Well With Others

The Spreadsheet Mapper makes it easy to collaborate on projects. You can specify who has access, how much access they have (can they just view the document or can they edit it too?) and you can see who's actively viewing or editing it at any given time.

What You Should Know about the Spreadsheet Mapper

Pros: online collaboration/sharing of a document; pre-made templates for placemark "balloons"; ability to make your own HTML balloon designs if the templates do not suit your fancy; some think it's relatively easy to understand the interface.

Cons: there is a limit (400) to the number of placemarks the spreadsheet can handle; the spreadsheet only works with points (placemarks)- not lines, polygons, or overlays; some think it's relatively difficult to understand the interface.

More Information

Check out Ohio NEMO's Great Lakes BMP Dataset, created using Google Spreadsheet Mapper. ***Note: you will need to have Google Earth installed on your computer to view the KML.

Learn more about the Spreadsheet Mapper HERE!