KML Layers


KML Layers specify a set of features (such as place marks, images, polygons, 3D models, textual descriptions, etc.) for display in Earth browser, such as Google Earth and Google Maps.

If you would like to see what a KML Layer might look like please copy this URL into the 'Add KML Layer' box and then view a map of Los Angeles, USA from the tracks page.

Please see the bottom of this article for creating a KML file.

Adding a KML Layer

If you have a KML source that you want to add to your map on our new spidertracks website, follow the next steps;

1. Go to the website and log in.

KML Layer settings can be individual to users, set up for an Organisation, and can be viewed on the Public Page if this has been enabled. If you are setting this up for an Organisation, please refer to line marked as 2a below.

2. Click on the Settings and then select KML in the side menu. (Personal)

2a. Click on the Settings and then select the Organisation you would like to add the KML Layer to. (Organisation)


3. Click Add KML Layer.


4. The name you choose to give your KML will be the name you select on the map layers drop-down menu.

5. Enter the URL or upload the KML that you have created. Please note there is a 2MB file limit and the files have to be either KML or KMZ.

6. To activate your KML Layer and display it on your Flying page, go to your Flying page.

7. Click the layer icon at the top left hand corner and select the KML Layer to display (If it is showing as green it means it is active).


Dynamic KMLs

Google Maps automatically supports dynamic KML as part of its normal functionality. The KML file itself should specifies the expiration time for a linked KML file.

What does this mean? To have an auto-refreshing KML feed, you would have a main KML file which specifies a list of linked KML files to be displayed. This is all this file does, and it is in this file (which must be uploaded through the URL section on spidertracks website) that specifies how and when a file should be refreshed.

For more information please see the Google Developers KML Guide.


Creating a KML File

**Please note we do not support KML issues that do not directly relate to our system, this is a basic guide to get your started**

  1. Launch an Internet browser (IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari).
  2. Type "" in the browser window and press the "Enter" key.
  3. Click "Downloads," "Agree and Download" and then click "Save" to save the "Google Earth" setup program on your "Desktop."
  4. Double-click the "Google Earth" setup program icon on your "Desktop" and then click "Run" to install "Google Earth."
  5. Double-click the "Google Earth" icon on your "Desktop"
  6. Click "Search" and click the "Fly To" tab to type or paste the longitude and latitude for your location. If needed, use your Internet browser and type in type in the address of your location (for example, 25 Main Street Glencoe IL/USA), click "Go," select the longitude and latitude showing in the popup, hold down the "Ctrl" key and type the letter "C".
  7. Type or paste (hold down "Ctrl" and type the letter "V") the longitude and latitude in the "Fly to" box in "Google Earth" and press the magnifying glass or "Search" icon and the location is displayed on the map.
  8. Create the type of KML overlay you require for example; SamplesInEarth 
  9. Click "File," "Save," "Save Place As" and the "Save file" dialog box is displayed.
  10. Type in a "File name," for your location, click the "Save as type" drop-down menu to select "Kml (*.kml)," and then click "Save." Your KML file has been created.
For more advance KML Layers, please visit Google Developers Tutorial. Please note, if your KML file text is a heading h1, h2, h3, h4, or h5 and you do not specify the heading colour it will default to our heading colour on the public page. The public page heading colour is white and will not show on the info box. 
When creating your KML, please note that Google does not support KMLs which use the <ExtendedData> combined with <SimpleData> or <Schema>, preventing KMLs from making use of entity replacements i.e. $[data].
The google maps api does however provide support for <Data> elements and this tag does support entity replacements.

If you require support with this please consult Google Earth Support.


Q. When you use the option to upload a KML layer, where are these files stored? Is it on a secure Spidertracks server or unsecured public domain?

A. If you upload the actual file on our new website, instead of using the URL 'upload', the file will be hosted on our server. This means the data will be as secure as the track data of each Spider and is not publicly hosted.If you upload it as an administrator within the organisation settings page then it will be visible to all the members of the organisation. If you upload it within your personal account then it will only be visible to you.

Q. Do you know if there is a way to change how we display the location marks? In the original KML it's just a number within the square, however if we uploaded to the flying page, the number changes to a blue tear drop.

A. Sadly, we (Spidertracks) do not control any of that unfortunately. Google will display some KML files differently on their Google Maps. The API that we use, the normal Google Maps, and Google Earth can be displayed differently. Unfortunately we have no control over this. 


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  • Avatar
    Charles Pitts

    I'm confused.   This website claims their klm autorefreshes but I don't see a  url link.   The kml it generates is not updating.

  • Avatar
    Pete Wade

    I'm confused too. Although the KML files appears to have uploaded, the upload dialogue box doesn't change. And then I can see no way to get back to the dashboard!

    Oh well, just close the Tab and log in again! It shouldn't be this hard!



  • Avatar
    Helen Vink

    Hi Pete,

    I have replied more personally to you in the support ticket that we had raised.  The issue you were experiencing was due to the size of the file.  Our site was restricting the size limit to under 1MB when it should have been 2MB.  This has now been fixed. 



  • Avatar
    John Van Wormer

    How do I delete a KML layer after it has been added?

  • Avatar
    Helen Vink

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your question.  To remove the KML files from you account, follow this link;

    This will take you to where you are hosting your KML files, if you click the trash can icon this will remove it. Please let me know if you are having issues with this.




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